Davis powers Lakers to victory over Wolves in Minnesota

The Lakers are above .500 for the first time in the 2022-23 season.

The Lakers are above .500 for the first time this season.

They survived an Anthony Davis injury scare… and then they went on a huge run in the third quarter (which is really unlike these Lakers) to buoy themselves into a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 123-111.

Lakers were plagued by turnovers early but they were able to keep it close for most of the first half. But the Wolves ended the half on an 11-4 run to give themselves a 65-55 lead.

We were seeing the usual third quarter follies on the Lakers early. A Jaden McDaniels three boosted the lead to 76-64. The Lakers then made a couple of buckets before Anthony Davis sprained his ankle. He was in so much pain that it got a lot of Laker fans on Twitter saying the season was over.

Gotta love that never-say-die attitude, right?

Davis was able to walk it off and it somehow woke up something inside the team. Suddenly, the Lakers defense was flying all over the place. The Wolves couldn’t make a three (or any shot, for that matter). Every player contributed to a huge 24-2 run in the third period. Suddenly, the Lakers were leading by double figures.

And then it was all Anthony Davis from there. It didn’t help that Rudy Gobert hurt his knee and left the floor for a few minutes but Davis feasted on the Wolves defense. Hook shot? No problem. Lay-up? Good. Another hook? In. Fadeaway jumper? Bucket. Dunk? Yup.

LeBron put it away with a three-pointer with under a minute left and the Lakers are now one game above .500.

The Wolves had no answer for Anthony Davis and the Lakers’ swarming defense. They were clanking threes in the third (2 for 11, .182) and by the time they were making them, it was way too late. The Lakers were so fast on rotating and getting to their spots defensively. It’s something you won’t see on the scoreboard but Dennis Schröder, Wenyen Gabriel, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Rui Hachimura really turned it up defensively.

Because of that defense, the Lakers killed the Wolves on transition. And we know that’s one of the Lakers’ biggest strengths; Lakers were 4th in fast break points going into Friday night. Lakers had a 29-13 advantage on the fast break.

The Lakers could’ve taken care of the ball better (16 turnovers) but the Wolves also had the same number of giveaways so that kind of cancelled out. Still, we’d like to see L.A. take care of the rock. It’s been a bit of a problem as of late.

Anthony Davis was dominant. He dropped another 38 points and grabbed 17 boards. In case you’re wondering, he scored 20 points after he got hurt. LeBron James (18-10-6) and D’Angelo Russell (12 points, 10 assists) also had double-doubles. At least, this time, Davis got the help he needed unlike their last match-up. And shoutout to Malik Beasley, who made three quick threes in the first half. That should boost his confidence.

The Wolves were held together by Mike Conley, who had 25 points, 7 assists, and three steals. Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 8 boards. Rudy Gobert had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Anthony Edwards, who was listed as probable because of an illness, had a very silent 11 points.

The Lakers are down to their last five games. Right now, they’re at the 7th spot because of a tiebreaker (which I mistakenly said it was a battle for the 8th seed; I apologize) but the Pelicans have a huge game against the Clippers on Saturday. A Pelicans win could drop the Lakers back at 8th but we’ll see how it goes then.

Either way, good to see the Lakers finally get above .500. Now they have to take care of business in the last 9 days of the regular season.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x