With Shaquille O’Neal and a host of former Los Angeles Lakers in attendance to celebrate the former three-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player’s statue at Staples Center, the LA Lakers snapped a six-game losing streak and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime, 130-119.
Jordan Clarkson scored 35 points and made eight of his 10 three-point attempts, both of which set new career-highs for the third-year guard. The combo-guard who recently returned to the starting lineup also scored seven points in the overtime period and only missed out on game-high honors by a single point.
Andrew Wiggins, who fouled out in overtime, finished with 36 points in the loss.
What started out as a back-and forth contest witnessed the Lakers falling behind by 12 points at halftime. LA appeared headed for a seventh consecutive loss and trailed by as many as 15 points in the third quarter.
However, LA’s backups worked to get the Lakers back into the game and closed the gap to only eight points entering the fourth quarter. Less than five minutes into the fourth quarter, the Lakers’ reserves had chopped the deficit entirely and faced a tie ball game with the home crowd roaring to mark O’Neal’s special night with a rare victory at Staples Center.
In particular, Corey Brewer fueled the comeback with energetic defense and 10 points in the fourth quarter against his former team. Still, when Lakers home P.A. announcer Lawrence Tanter repeated his customary notification of “Two minutes” remaining in the contest, LA trailed by five points and seemed destined to fall short.
Eighteen seconds later, Clarkson hit a three-pointer and got fouled for a four-point play. Suddenly, LA had all the momentum, and when the game went to overtime, LA rode the crowd and Clarkson’s career night to a victory.