The Los Angeles Lakers rung in 2022 with a victory, getting some revenge on the Minnesota Timberwolves by beating them 108-103.
LeBron James kicked things off with a three and Malik Monk got loose for a fastbreak dunk, but it was the Timberwolves who got out to the early 10-7 lead. Turnovers were an issue for both sides as the pace picked up, but the Lakers managed to climb on top with a 14-12 advantage.
Los Angeles had some issues keeping Anthony Edwards out of the paint, but defensively they did well to force turnovers and get into early offense. The Laker bench was able to play off the starters’ momentum on both ends of the floor and they would help the team take a 31-24 lead after one.
The small-ball lineup for L.A. had trouble corralling defensive rebounds, but Monk made sure they stayed ahead with another three and a nice cut for a layup. The Lakers were able to briefly push the lead to nine but a pair of baskets from Naz Reid cut it to five midway through the quarter.
Russell Westbrook had trouble taking care of the basketball but was able to find Avery Bradley in the corner for a much-needed 3-pointer. Despite Westbrook’s seven first-half turnovers, James was able to resettle things and the Lakers would take a 57-54 lead at the half.
The rebounding woes for the Lakers bit them at the top of the third as the Timberwolves were able to take a 65-61 lead almost solely off second-chance points. Reid continued to torch Los Angeles’ small-ball lineup, though James was able to keep them close.
Monk was able to ignite a 10-0 run as he scored from several different spots, while Bradley capped it off with a steal and lay-in. However, the Timberwolves were able to immediately respond and left the Lakers staring at a 80-78 deficit going into the fourth.
Carmelo Anthony came to life as he nailed a three from the wing and followed it up with his patented mid-range jumper, while the defense was able to force a couple of turnovers. James’ defensive effort was on full display which allowed the Lakers to cling to a four-point lead.
Malik Beasley’s fourth three of the night brought the Timberwolves within one, but Anthony answered with a four-point play. The game came down to the wire, but Bradley was able to make timely plays on both ends of the floor and the Lakers would take the victory.
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