The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 125-109, on Sunday night at the Target Center.
Andrew Wiggins posted a new career-high 47 points on 14-of-21 shooting and 17-of-22 from the free throw line. Karl Anthony-Towns, who was seen struggling in the game, still managed to establish a double-double, 22 points, and 12 rebounds, while Nemanja Bjelica added a career-high 24 points and eight rebounds.
“I’m finding myself, finding things I’m good at and things I need to work on,” said Wiggins, nine games into his third season in the league. “The game has kind of slowed down for me a little bit. I’m able to read defenses better now and see how the defense is set.”
The Lakers and the Timberwolves were evenly matched in the start of the game. However, the Timberwolves took advantage of the Lakers’ poor defense and turnovers, ending the first half with a 15-point lead. Julius Randle and Nick Young stepped up for the Lakers in the third quarter to force coach Tim Thibodeau to call a timeout.
D’Angelo Russell was struggling on the offensive end and it is very noticeable that his defense was also affected. Ivica Zubac was forced to enter the game to replace foul-burdened Timofey Mozgov. Andrew Wiggins established an impressive performance where no one in the Lakers managed to stop his dominance on the offensive end.
Before the game, the Lakers were expected to take advantage of the Timberwolves, who played without Zach Lavine and Shabazz Muhammad due to injury. However, the Lakers were struggling on both ends. Julius Randle expressed his disappointment and said that they don’t really deserve to win the game.
“The energy wasn’t there,” Randle said. “Playing a back-to-back is not an excuse. Energy just wasn’t there. We weren’t playing free, moving the ball, and they were getting whatever they wanted. We weren’t putting any pressure on them. . . . We tried to bring it in the third quarter but we dug ourselves too deep of a hole, and we didn’t deserve to win the game.”
The Los Angeles Lakers are heading back at the Staples Center on Tuesday to face the Brooklyn Nets while the Minnesota Timberwolves will host the Charlotte Hornets also on Tuesday.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr