Recap: Lakers Can’t Keep Up With Timberwolves Without LeBron James & Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis, Kyle Anderson, Lakers, Timberwolves
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers went for their fifth straight win on Sunday night, hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves as they looked to continue their late-season climb up the standings.

Unfortunately, LeBron James was a late scratch due to flu-like symptoms, leaving the Lakers very shorthanded against one of the top teams in the West. On top of that, Anthony Davis was also forced to leave the game early and the Lakers suffered a 127-117 loss as a result.

D’Angelo Russell got off to a nice start against his former team with four early points while Rui Hachimura added five of his own and Spencer Dinwiddie and Austin Reaves both connected from deep to give the Lakers an early 20-13 lead.

There wasn’t much defense played early though as Anthony Edwards responded with seven straight points for Minnesota. Davis had a monster putback dunk to end the first quarter though, giving the Lakers a 37-33 lead.

Davis got hit in the eye on that dunk so was forced to head to the locker room to begin the second, allowing the Timberwolves to take their first lead.

While Dinwiddie did what he could offensively in Davis’ absence, Naz Reid was also hot for Minnesota to keep them ahead. After a triple gave Reid 23 first half points, the Timberwolves took a double digit lead for the first time.

Davis did not emerge from the locker room for the entire second quarter and the Lakers really suffered as a result, going into halftime with a 79-64 deficit.

The Lakers unsurprisingly ruled Davis for the rest of the night at halftime, leaving the Lakers even more shorthanded for the second half.

L.A. began the third quarter playing inspired basketball, however, going on a 17-9 run led by Davis’ repplacement Jaxson Hayes. He had a few big dunks to get the Lakers back within single digits.

After a Cam Reddish corner triple the Lakers were down by just four, although Edwards and the Timberwolves ended the quarter well to take a 102-92 lead.

The Lakers’ lack of size without Davis hurt them as the Timberwolves were essentially able to get whatever they wanted inside. Minnesota went on a run to begin the fourth quarter, putting any hopes of a Lakers comeback attempt to bed. With so many key guys out, including their two stars, L.A. was not able to make another run to get over the hump.

What’s next for the Lakers

The Lakers have a huge game coming up on Tuesday, hosting the Golden State Warriors in their final home game of the regular season.

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