No one person can replace what Anthony Davis brings to the Los Angeles Lakers, but multiple players can combine to make up for the void, and that is exactly what the team received in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Lakers used an excellent fourth quarter to pull away late on their way to a 112-104 victory. LeBron James, as expected, led the way for L.A. with 30 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, but a number of players stepped up in the team’s first game since losing Davis for an extended period.
Chief among them was Dennis Schroder, who was extremely aggressive from the beginning on his way to 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting. He also had four steals which helped to make up for his one issue on this night in five turnovers.
The Lakers as a team had 18 turnovers with Schroder and James having five each, but 10 of those came early as the team managed to fix that problem as the game went on.
Montrezl Harrell, one of the primary players expected to take on a bigger role in Davis’ absence, gave the Lakers a huge boost off the bench with 17 points and six rebounds. Marc Gasol and Markieff Morris had arguably their best games of the season.
Gasol reached double-digit scoring for just the second time this season with 11 points to go along with five rebounds and two blocks. He also did a solid job defensively in limiting Karl-Anthony Towns to just one field goal in the second half while also knocking down a corner 3 to ice the game for good.
Morris finished with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range and was crucial in the second half with his toughness and timely shots.
The Lakers’ failure to take care of the ball, combined with Minnesota’s hot shooting from deep served to keep things close for the majority of the night. The Lakers held the Timberwolves to just 42.4% shooting on the night, but they connected on 47.1% from 3-point range and those 16 makes kept the Lakers from pulling away earlier.
Alex Caruso also made his usual impact with a highlight chasedown block in the first half and was a team-high +14 on the night while Kyle Kuzma provided good defense and energy despite a quiet offensive game.
Next up for Lakers
The Lakers have a pair massive showdowns at Staples Center coming up as they host the star-studded Brooklyn Nets on Thursday before an NBA Finals rematch with the Miami Heat in primetime on Saturday.
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