Timberwolves Use Strong 2nd Half to Overcome Defending Champion Lakers
A revamped Minnesota Timberwolves' roster used an abundant rotation of reserves in the second-half to defeat the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in London. Michael Beasley scored 21 points and Kevin Love filled the stat sheet with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, fresh off a gold medal at the FIBA Worlds Championships just weeks ago.
In the preseason opener, Kobe Bryant played sparingly, despite a sold-out crowd chanting "Kobe, Kobe, Kobe" throughout the third and fourth periods. Bryant is still recovering from offseason knee surgery and spent halftime icing down his knee. After the game, the Laker star announced his knee was "about 60%". Andrew Bynum and Luke Walton are two other teammates who were limited to DNPs due to injuries- a hamstring strain to Walton and knee surgery for Bynum.
For a Minnesota team that spent its offseason re-doing its roster, Wes Johnson, the rookie from Syracuse, earned his first start, scoring 9 points, out-performing last season's starting shooting guard, Corey Brewer, who went 1-for-9 from the field and finished with just four points.
Jonny Flynn, a second-year guard, is expected to make his debut sometime in November after offseason hip surgery.
Although this game is not very telling of the expected future for either team, it certainly is pleasant to have basketball season officially under way.