Breaking News: Lakers Contend energetically, Miss the mark to Timberwolves.

Breaking News: Lakers Contend energetically, Miss the mark to Timberwolves.

Lakers Fight Hard, Fall Short to Timberwolves

Without LeBron James and Gabe Vincent available for action, the Lakers fought hard and hung tough with the conference leading Timberwolves in Minnesota, but ultimately fell short 118-111. The loss is the Lakers fourth straight overall and moves their record to 5-11 on the road for the season.

With LeBron unavailable, the Lakers leaned heavily into Anthony Davis’ ability to create his own shot and be the hub of the team’s offensive attack.

Much of the offense ran through AD, either through deliberate actions or because he brought the ball up and played at the top of the key while the Wolves used their big wing defenders on the Lakers guards.

Davis, as he often does when given this much offensive responsibility, delivered a strong all-around scoring night and showed off his full arsenal against former DPOY Rudy Gobert.

AD scored inside and out

Leveraging his quickness and ball handling to create separation for his jump shot and then, after proving he could knock that shot down, using the threat of his jumper to get into the paint and finish inside.

AD finished the night with a game-high 31 points on 11-of-20 shooting, with seven of those makes coming on jumpers outside the paint.

Davis added eight rebounds, four assists, and three blocks for another purposeful game in which he gave his team a chance to win when he was on the floor — which is reflected in his +3 in the box score in his nearly 39 minutes of game action.

Joining AD with another consistent night was Austin Reaves and Taurean Prince, who both played hard and well offensively to help provide offensive production vs. an engaged Wolves defense.

Austin poured in 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and five assists, doing well to create his shot off the dribble, shaking free in both isolation and out of the pick-and-roll to get into the mid-range where he knocked down his jumper.

As for Prince, he shot the ball extremely well

In his first game back in Minnesota since leaving the Wolves for the Lakers in free agency this past summer.

Prince connected on five of his six shots from the field, including all four of his three-pointers to score 16 points while also grabbing five rebounds.

Prince’s jumpers were also timely, with several coming in moments where it looked like the Wolves might seize full control of the game, but his made shot kept the Lakers connected on the scoreboard.

Countering these strong performances, however, were Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony-Towns.

Edwards paced Minnesota with 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Edwards was also excellent in getting downhill and drawing fouls, earning eight trips to the foul line where he connected on seven of his attempts.

Edwards was particularly good in the second half where he picked up his intensity both defensively and when hunting transition chances to create better shot attempts for himself in the paint.

As for Towns, he scored 21 points (7-16 shooting, 2-6 from distance).

Yo go along with six rebounds and four assists. This production was particularly important as much of it came when Edwards sat, and when Towns carried the Wolves’ bench units in the middle portion of the game.

Towns was a +12 in his 33 minutes, reflective of how his minutes coincided with the parts of the game in which Minnesota was able to wrestle control of the contest.

If there is a silver lining in the loss, however, it was the 4th quarter of D’Angelo Russell and him breaking out to find an offensive rhythm that had escaped him in recent games.

After scoring 11 points in the last two games combined (including a two-point showing vs. the Bulls), Russell overcame a slow start vs. the Wolves to score 13 points in the final period alone (and 17 in the game).

Russell got a couple of shots in the paint to fall, and then found the range on his jumper in a late push to try to bring the Lakers back.

It just was not enough, though. And so the Lakers move on to Oklahoma City for a matchup with the Thunder on Saturday where they will try to salvage their road trip with a victory and try to avoid falling back to .500 on the season.

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