Five takeaways from the Lakers’ 120-105 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night at Staples Center.
1. The Lakers have another injury to deal with after Kyle Kuzma said he was slowed by a “little hip strain” that has bothered him since last Saturday night’s game against the Houston Rockets.
Kuzma got treatment at practice Wednesday and at the team’s shootaround Thursday.
“But it’s been getting a little worse,” Kuzma said.
He played just over 28 minutes, five below his season average, against the Timberwolves.
He had 10 points on four-for-12 shooting. He missed all four of his three-pointers.
Kuzma said the injury has restricted his movement.
“You need your hips, so they’re very important for basketball players,” Kuzma said.
Kuzma said he hasn’t considered sitting out games to get better because LeBron James (strained groin) and Lonzo Ball (sprained ankle) are both already out.
“I just don’t like to sit out games,” he said. “But it’s a little bit of give and take. I’m a little hard-headed sometimes. But I’ve got to see what’s right and what’s wrong.”
2. A third consecutive loss has left the Lakers on shaky ground in the Western Conference.
At 25-24, the Lakers are 1½ games behind the eighth-place Clippers. The Lakers have just a half-game lead over the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota.
3. The Lakers were destroyed on the backboards by 55-39, seemingly backing down at every turn.
They gave up 22 offensive rebounds. They gave up six offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter when Minnesota took control of the game.
4. The Lakers shot only 28.6% (eight of 28) from three-point range.
Rookie Svi Mykhailiuk was two of four from three-point range and Rajon Rondo was three of five. Other than that, the Lakers were awful.
5. Of the 20 turnovers the Lakers had, centers Ivica Zubac and JaVale McGee combined for seven. Zubac had four and McGee three.
Lakers coach Luke Walton said his two centers mostly were stripped by defenders for their turnovers.