By DAVE CAMPBELL, AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 factors and 10 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves blew out the depleted Los Angeles Lakers for a second time this season, 110-92 on Friday night time.
In coach Chris Finch’s view, Towns has doubled down recently on a quest to ascertain himself as the most effective massive man within the league.
“Just getting whatever he wants, wherever he wants,” Finch mentioned.
Towns was coming off a 32-point efficiency at Denver on Wednesday night time, besting Nikola Jokic.
“I’m going to let people make their assumptions and make their judgment. I just know that every day when I come here I play the game with a tremendous amount of confidence,” Towns mentioned.
Malik Beasley and D’Angelo Russell every had 17 factors and Jarred Vanderbilt grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds to assist the Wolves win their third straight recreation. They performed for the primary time with out star Anthony Edwards, who was positioned within the NBA’s well being and security protocols within the afternoon.
“I wanted to set the standard. I wanted to try to impose myself into the game real quick, understanding Ant’s not here,” Towns mentioned.
LeBron James had a quiet 18 factors and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who had been hit even more durable by COVID-19 with six gamers within the protocols. Isaiah Thomas made his season debut with 19 factors, Russell Westbrook had 14 factors and Kent Bazemore matched his season excessive with 11, however Anthony Davis departed the sport twice for various accidents.
“Give credit where credit is due: Minnesota had a hell of a game,” James mentioned.
The Wolves, who beat the Lakers 107-83 in Los Angeles on Nov. 12 with out James within the lineup, had a 61-36 rebounding benefit — together with 15-1 on the offensive glass.
“They definitely played a more physical brand of basketball tonight, and we’ve got to be better,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel mentioned.
Davis damage his proper ankle late within the first quarter, returned within the second quarter after which bruised his left knee within the third quarter. He did not return from that. Davis, who missed two video games final week with left knee soreness, completed with 9 factors and one rebound in 20 minutes.
It did not matter who was defending Towns. He had 23 factors on 9-for-14 capturing within the first half, whereas each different participant who noticed the court docket for both crew mixed to go 25 for 77 from the ground.
On a nationally televised recreation that did not begin till 9:15 p.m., the groups mixed to overlook 25 of 26 makes an attempt from 3-point vary within the first quarter. Towns offered the power to make up for the early misses. Every time he’d energy his strategy to the ring and get the ball to fall, Towns would flex his muscular tissues and scream to himself in satisfaction.
The Timberwolves withstood each cost by the Lakers. They led 61-47 after Vanderbilt stole the ball for James and fed Beasley for a fast-break dunk, solely to observe the guests storm again with an 11-0 surge. The Timberwolves responded with an 11-0 run of their very own, with Beasley because the gasoline.
“We always feel like we have enough to win. We’re not feeling sorry for ourselves,” Vogel mentioned.
This was the primary absence of Edwards’ younger profession, after enjoying in 100 straight video games.
Edwards had 38 factors on 10-for-14 capturing from 3-point vary at Denver on Wednesday and have become the seventh participant in NBA historical past with 2,000 factors in 100 video games at age 20 or youthful. Two of the primary six, James and Carmelo Anthony, are on the Lakers.
The Lakers had Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn and Austin Reaves within the protocols. Trevor Ariza (ankle) additionally remained unavailable.
The shiny aspect was they nonetheless had Westbrook after only a one-day hiatus. He performed within the final recreation at Dallas on Wednesday and needed to keep behind till being cleared to journey to Minnesota.
The Lakers even introduced again Thomas on a 10-day contract for emergency depth, because the 5-foot-9 fan favourite marked the official begin of his eleventh season within the NBA. Thomas scored 42 factors in a G League recreation on Wednesday.
Chaudee Brown Jr. made his NBA debut and performed quarter-hour.
Lakers: Bazemore was scoreless in quarter-hour within the earlier recreation and did not even get within the recreation earlier than that. … Horton-Tucker, Howard and Monk every missed their second straight recreation.
Timberwolves: Taurean Prince joined Edwards within the well being and security protocols. Finch mentioned each gamers had been asymptomatic. … Towns was introduced with the NBA’s month-to-month group service award for November previous to the sport, in recognition of his assist for homeless youth.
The Lakers are scheduled to play at Chicago on Sunday night time. The Bulls, who had two video games postponed this week as a result of they’d 10 gamers within the well being and security protocols, had been cleared to renew apply on Saturday.
The Timberwolves host Dallas on Sunday night time. The Mavericks host a rematch on Tuesday night time.
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