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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - 12/20/13

Minnesota Timberwolves (13-13) at Los Angeles Lakers (12-13)

NBA Basketball: Friday, December 20, 2013 at 10:30 pm (STAPLES Center)

The Line: Los Angeles Lakers +5 -- Over/Under: 212 See the Latest Odds

TV:

The Los Angeles Lakers will again be without Kobe Bryant tonight as they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on NBA Friday.

The Lakers have won two of their last three games and are coming off a 96-92 win over the Grizzlies thanks to 21 points apiece from Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant. Kobe has only played six games since his return from an eight-month absence but it looks like he will be out again until February which just shatters the Lakers' roster who is already without Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar. The scarcely used Xavier Henry is said to be starting at the point guard role for the Lakers so it'll be interesting to see how this pans out.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - 12/20/13

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, Kevin Love finished one assist shy of a monster triple-double, racking up 29 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Wolves to an impressive 120-109 win over the surprising Trailblazers. Nikola Pekovic led the team with 30 points and Kevin Martin added 22 as the Wolves managed to ran past the Blazers despite 36 points from Damian Lillard. Minnesota have now won four of their last six to improve to 13-13 on the season and 8-4 at home.

In ATS trends, the Wolves are 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 games following a win and 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a win of more than 10 points, while the Lakers are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight home games and 3-1-1 ATS in their last five Friday games.

Head to head, the Wolves are 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings in LA and the Under is 8-3 in the last 11.

You got to feel for the Lakers who haven't been able to catch a break at all this season but the show must go on. Henry has been pretty inconsistent all season and it'll be interesting to see how he copes as the starting point guard for the Lakers, but I can't see how the Wolves can mess this one up. Surely, Minnesota should be good enough to get the win and cover against this severely shorthanded LA outfit.

Minnesota -6.5

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