Friday night might’ve been the most important game of the 2022-23 season for the Los Angeles Lakers as they faced off against the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road. The winner of the matchup would claim sole possession of the No. 7 seed in what has been a tight Western Conference.
After a poor first half that saw them trailing by 10, the Lakers responded with one of their best two-way efforts of the year to overcome the Timberwolves and take the victory.
For the second consecutive game, Los Angeles saw the superstar version of Anthony Davis, who came through with yet another dominant performance. After suffering what initially looked like a serious ankle injury in the third quarter, Davis managed to gut out the rest of the contest and actually bring his play to another level.
The 30-year-old was a menace near the basket, finishing over defenders and rolling to the rim to pick up easy buckets. Davis led all scorers with 38 points on 15-of-26 shooting, with 17 of his points coming in the fourth quarter. He also led both teams in rebounding with 17 to go along with a steal and two blocks.
Outside of Davis, the rest of the starting five chipped in at various points throughout the night. After a dismal start to the game, LeBron James found a bit of a groove in the second half and eventually finished the night with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Austin Reaves also had what felt like an off-game for him, making questionable decisions on both ends of the floor. However, he made up for it with his free throw shooting as he went 5-of-6 from the line en route to a 15-point evening.
After missing their first matchup as a purple and gold member, D’Angelo Russell had a solid game against his former team. Although he only scored 12 points, his playmaking jumped out as he had 10 assists as well as a couple of steals to his name.
Rounding out the starters was Jarred Vanderbilt who also contributed with 12 points, including a pair of 3s that he knocked in from the corners. However, his biggest contributions came on the defensive end as he spent time guarding Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.
What’s next for Lakers
The Lakers continue their road trip on Sunday when they face off against the Houston Rockets. They’ll then have their final back-to-back set of the season when they take on the Utah Jazz and L.A. Clippers next Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
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