Despite losing Anthony Edwards and Taurean Prince to the league’s health and safety protocols on the morning of the game, the Timberwolves, led by Karl-Anthony Towns, dominated the Lakers in an easy 110-92 win Friday night.
Minnesota also beat the Lakers 107-83 in Los Angeles on Nov. 12, although the Lakers were playing without LeBron James in that game. LA came into this matchup riding a three-game winning streak and looking to win four in a row for the first time this season.
But it couldn’t compete with the energy and play of the young Timberwolves. To make matters worse, Anthony Davis left the game midway through the third quarter with a left knee contusion. There has been no report yet on the severity of the injury.
In the nationally televised game, a rare occurrence for the Timberwolves, Towns went to work early and finished with 28 points (11-of-20 from the floor), 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in just 32 minutes.
He shot 9-of-14 in the first half and finished the game a whopping plus-23.
It didn’t matter who defended Towns; he displayed nifty footwork, a soft shooting touch and power moves around the basket.
“I think he’s the best one-on-one post player with his back to the basket in the league,” Wolves head coach Chris Finch said postgame.
This block of James demonstrated how he dominated on both ends of the floor.
Minnesota has now won three in a row to move to 14-15, half a game behind the Mavericks for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
The Lakers were also hit hard by COVID-19, with six players in the health and safety protocols. These absences, combined with some early injuries, have not allowed the Lakers to string together games with a fully healthy roster, which has made it difficult for them to build momentum.
The superstar duo of James and Russell Westbrook combined for just 37 points and failed to spark a comeback in the second half. The result of the MRI scan on Davis’ knee would be key to the team’s future.