Timberwolves jump on Lakers minus LeBron James, Anthony Davis

Timberwolves jump on Lakers minus LeBron James, Anthony Davis

/ 12:48 PM April 08, 2024

Anthony Edwards Timberwolves beat Lakers NBA

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, right, attempts to score against Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves (15) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Etienne Laurent)

LOS ANGELES — Naz Reid hit six 3-pointers while scoring 31 points, and the Minnesota Timberwolves capitalized on LeBron James’ absence and Anthony Davis’ early exit with an eye injury for a 127-117 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night in the NBA.

Anthony Edwards added 26 points for the Timberwolves, who moved even with Denver atop the NBA Western Conference at 54-24 with their seventh win in nine games. Minnesota didn’t waste its golden opportunity to beat the surging Lakers, who played most of the night without their two superstars.

James stayed home with flu-like symptoms, missing his 11th game of his 21st NBA season. Davis then went to the locker room after getting hit in the face by Kyle Anderson while scoring a tip-in basket late in the first quarter.

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The nine-time All-Star didn’t return to the game. Davis’ left eye already was injured from a hit taken last month in a game against Golden State.

Minnesota blew open a tight game without Davis patrolling the middle, putting up a 46-point second quarter. Los Angeles’ supporting cast kept it close in the third, but Rudy Gobert scored six of his 18 points in the fourth quarter while Minnesota comfortably held on. Gobert also had 16 rebounds.

Rui Hachimura scored 30 points for the Lakers, whose four-game winning streak ended with only their second loss in 11 games. Los Angeles also fell right back into ninth place in the ultracompetitive West after finally moving up to eighth on Saturday for the first time since late December.

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Backup big man Jaxson Hayes had a season-high 19 points and 10 assists while playing 33 minutes in Davis’ absence, and Spencer Dinwiddie added 18 points and seven assists for the Lakers. D’Angelo Russell struggled when Los Angeles needed a huge game from its No. 3 option, missing 14 of his 19 shots to finish with 15 points and 11 assists.

With a chance to be the No. 1 seed in the West for only the second time in franchise history, Minnesota rebounded from its worst offensive performance of the season in Phoenix last Friday.

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Minnesota quickly broke open a close game after Davis left, streaking to a 79-64 halftime lead with Reid scoring 18 points in the second quarter. Reid, who also grabbed 11 rebounds, racked up 46 combined points in the Wolves’ two previous meetings with the Lakers.

Along with James, the Lakers held out backup point guard Gabe Vincent, who only returned from a lengthy injury absence four games ago.

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NEXT SCHEDULE

Timberwolves: Host Washington on Tuesday.

Lakers: Host Golden State on Tuesday.

TAGS: Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves

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