The Minnesota Timberwolves, led by Anthony Edwards with 27 points, outclassed the Los Angeles Lakers with a 118-111 victory. This win, achieved despite both teams playing back-to-back games, places the Timberwolves alongside Boston with the league's best record at 21-6.
Wolves coach Chris Finch praised his team's resilience, acknowledging the physical toll of consecutive games.
“All credit to the guys for getting the win on a back-to-back. I know there might not have been a full tank for everyone, but that’s one of those games where if it goes 3 more minutes, we may lose it,” Finch said.
Key Contributions and Injuries
Karl-Anthony Towns added 21 points for Minnesota but exited the game due to a lower-leg injury, leaving the team concerned about his condition. Despite a sluggish third quarter, the Wolves regained momentum.
Mike Conley's performance was notable with 16 points and eight assists, contributing to the team's 13 steals. Rudy Gobert also made a significant impact with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks, helping the Wolves to avoid consecutive losses and maintain an impressive 12-1 home record.
“We just use our depth and our size,” Conley remarked. "That can be overwhelming for certain teams at certain times, and it allows us to just be unpredictable every night”.On the Lakers' side, Anthony Davis led with 31 points and eight rebounds.
Rui Hachimura, stepping up in LeBron James’ absence due to ankle tendinitis, scored 18 points. However, the Lakers' struggles continued, dropping to 1-5 since winning the NBA In-Season Tournament and standing at 15-14 overall.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham expressed optimism despite the challenges. “We’ll break through this thing, once we get guys back healthy, get guys back in rhythm,” he said.The Lakers' recent slump, partly attributed to the energy spent on the Las Vegas tournament, was evident.
D'Angelo Russell, despite scoring 17 points against his former team, reflected on the Lakers' ongoing adjustments, stating, “Every game feels like something new”.
The Wolves’ defensive prowess, allowing the fewest points per game in the league, was a key factor in their victory.
“Our defense is what we’ve got to hang our hat on,” Conley emphasized, highlighting the team's defensive strategy as a cornerstone of their success.