The Lakers (39-38) continued their march towards postseason play on Friday with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves (39-39), 123-111. This is the Laker’s fifth win in their last six games and the first time this season the team has scored above .500. The “get back trip,” aptly named by the team, is off to a great start as they attempt four straight road wins against Chicago (121-110), Minnesota (123-111), Houston (on Sunday), and Utah (on Tuesday).
Anthony Davis led the charge with 38 points, 17 coming in the fourth quarter. Davis injured his left ankle during the third quarter but returned to spur the team on a 24-2 run heading into the fourth quarter.
“I knew I was going to play,” Davis said after the game. “Tied the shoes up tighter and just kind off played off adrenaline until the end of the game and was able to get some treatment. But I’ll be fine.”
On Friday, Davis was the Laker’s high scorer with 17 rebounds, 15-of-26 from the field, 8-of-10 free throws, one steal, and two blocks. LeBron James contributed 18 points, ten rebounds, and six assists, along with D’Angelo Russell, 12 points, ten assists, and Jared Vanderbilt, 12 points, five rebounds, and 5-of-8 from the field.
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LeBron James spoke of the pivotal play by Davis: “We jumped on AD’s back, and he brought us home.”
The No. 7 Lakers remain focused on taking care of business as they trail the No. 6 Golden State Warriors by 1 ½ games with five games left in regular season play. The tiebreaker belongs to the purple and gold.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham hopes the team continues to have a laser focus on the remaining games as the season winds down:
“Just [want] us to remain tenacious, remain highly competitive, remain together,” Ham said. “Just know that we can’t be fat and happy. There are more things that we have to conquer.”
In the loss, the Timberwolves Mike Conley led with 25 points, Karl-Anthony Towns 23 points, Jaden McDaniels 15 points, and Rudy Gobert 14 points.
The Lakers will face the Houston Rockets on Sunday at the Toyota Center in Houston. Anthony Davis is “probable” with a right foot stress injury, and LeBron James is “questionable” with soreness in his right foot. Mo Bamba remains out with a left ankle sprain.