MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – LeBron James scored 30 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. Dennis Schroder scored 24 points to help the Los Angeles Lakers distance themselves from the Minnesota Timberwolves for a 112-104 victory Tuesday night.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers selects Jarred Vanderbilt #8 of Minnesota as a teammate for LeBron James #23 in the game of the 16th. February at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Montrezl Harrell added 17 points for the Lakers, who won their first game at the Target Center in 25 years. Minnesota’s seven-game losing streak ended in March 2015.
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Minnesota rookie Anthony Edwards had the best scoring of his career with 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Karl-Anthony Towns scored a quiet 15 points for the Timberwolves, who lost 17-5 early in the fourth quarter after a spirited performance in the first three periods.
Edwards, first pick in the draft, hit his fourth and fifth three-pointers of the game to close the gap to 105-100 at 3:28 from the end. Edwards was called for a foul on James, who hit the four-time league MVP and denied the runner in the lane at 2:57, and the Timberwolves were unable to close.
The Lakers played the first of several consecutive games without seven-time All-Star Anthony Davis, who sat out with an Achilles tendon injury. He made it worse Sunday with a loss in Denver that ended the Lakers’ seven-game winning streak.
Although Davis is scoring a bit less with the arrival of Schroeder and Harrell, this period will be a test of strength for the defending NBA champions as they continue to contain their opponents for the most part. The Lakers were far from clean – James made four of five rotations in the first quarter – but were effective enough offensively to secure the win.
Ricky Rubio and Jordan McLaughlin each scored 13 points for the Timberwolves, who shared time at guard point due to the absence of D’Angelo Russell. Towns didn’t even have luck in the fourth quarter with Edwards.
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The Lakers won the first meeting in Los Angeles on the 27th. in December by 36 points when Towns came out with a sprained wrist. Davis’ absence meant another missed game between two of the NBA’s best big men – and Kentucky’s first draft pick in three years. The Lakers’ visit to Minnesota last season was derailed by the pandemic.
Lakers: It’s unlikely Davis will be back before the All-Star break, coach Frank Vogel said. This cautious approach means Davis, whose official diagnosis is a strain in the right calf, will miss at least eight more games. That was his sixth shutout in 29 games this season.
Tree Wolves: Jarrett Culver, who missed his 12th game in a row due to a sprained left ankle, was sent off the field. The team said he could return to work next weekend.
Lakers: Back to Los Angeles to take on Brooklyn on Thursday. They play six of their next eight home games between now and the All-Star break.
Tree Wolves: Host Indiana plays its sixth consecutive game this season on Wednesday. They were ahead 2-for-3 in the second half of this pairing.
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