Five takeaways from the Lakers’ win over Minnesota:
1. The decision to play veteran point guard Rajon Rondo just about the entire fourth quarter and not play second-year point guard Lonzo Ball at all in the final 12 minutes worked out well for Lakers coach Luke Walton.
Rondo played 11 minutes, 51 seconds in the fourth, helping steer the Lakers to a 114-110 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rondo didn’t score in the fourth, missing his two shots. But he handed out three assists in the quarter and grabbed two of his six rebounds.
He was a calming influence for the Lakers during a tense fourth and was able to help new teammate Tyson Chandler be in the right spots in his first game with the Lakers.
“Rondo was doing a really nice job of just being a point guard out there,” Walton said. “So we stuck with Rondo.”
2. The Lakers had five players score in double figures.
LeBron James led the way with 24 points on 10-for-21 shooting, three for nine on three-pointers.
Kyle Kuzma had 21 points on eight-for-15 shooting, four for seven on three pointers. JaVale McGee had another strong outing with 16 points, missing just two of his 10 shots. Brandon Ingram had 20 points on eight-for-14 shooting, two for three on three-pointers. Josh Hart came off the bench to give the Lakers 21 points on five-for-seven shooting, all of the makes and attempts three-pointers.
3. The Lakers have excelled all season at sharing the basketball and that was no different against the Timberwolves.
The Lakers had 32 assists on 44 made field goals.
Rondo led the way with 10 assists, James had nine and Ingram and Ball six each.
4. Of course, the Lakers still have to improve their defense, especially their three-point defense.
They saw the Timberwolves make 50% (20-for-40) of their three-point attempts.
5. When the Lakers rebound the basketball, they have improved their chances of winning this season.
They out-rebounded the Timberwolves 47-40.
The Lakers had 12 offensive rebounds, the biggest two coming in the fourth quarter when Chandler tipped out two missed shots, giving his team two more offensive opportunities.