Below are five things to take from the Lakers’ 113-90 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday at Staples Center:
1. The Lakers couldn’t overcome a poor start.
In what marked their worst game of the season thus far, it didn’t take long for Laker fans to boo. The Lakers trailed Minnesota, 47-23, after the first quarter for reasons that sound way too familiar only two weeks into the season. Despite Kevin Martin (27 points on 11 of 23 shooting) and Kevin Love (25 points on 8 of 17 shooting) canning nearly everything from long distance, the Lakers reacted way too slowly on closing out on them. It’s one thing for both players to hit difficult shots. But the Lakers didn’t even contest most of those shots. A 36.4 percent clip from the field also set the tone for a mostly unwatchable game.
2. Steve Nash missed the second half because of back issues.
The 39-year-old point guard took a literal twist that compromised his health even more. Back issues kept him both off the court and off the bench in the second half. On Monday, Nash will see back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins, the same doctor who treated former Lakers center Dwight Howard last year.
So it’s currently unclear the severity of Nash’s injury. But after already fielding issues with his left ankle, neck and quads, Nash’s latest health-related incident marks one of many signs that managing his health will remain an ongoing challenge.
3. Pau Gasol’s struggles continueHe may have put in extra time in the weight room and on his shooting. But that hasn’t translated yet to any bottom-line results. Gasol finished with only nine points on 4 of 11 shooting, a head-scratching performance considering most of his shots came in the post.
4. Steve Blake/Jodie Meeks remain the lone highlights Blake played a large part in the Lakers’ third quarter comeback by posting 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting, 5 of 7 from three-point range and seven assists. Meeks continued his sharp shooting with 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting. But there’s only so much two guards can do. The Lakers still shot only 37.8 percent from the field.
5. Shawne Williams makes a surprising appearance.Nearly an hour after Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni suggested he wouldn’t see any playing time soon, Williams played 25 minutes and posted eight points on three of seven shooting. His time may have been circumstantial, though, with Wesley Johnson getting early foul trouble. Williams had missed the past two games after D’Antoni elected to go with a bigger lineup with Gasol and Chris Kaman in the frontcourt.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org