Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 10 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves pulled away for a 110-92 win over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night in Minneapolis.
D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley scored 17 apiece for Minnesota, which won its third game in a row. Jaylen Nowell finished with 14 points off the bench.
Isaiah Thomas led the Lakers with 19 points in his season debut. LeBron James scored 18 points and Anthony Davis had nine before limping to the locker room in the third quarter with a left knee injury.
Davis sustained the injury shortly after taking a pass from James. Timberwolves defender Jaden McDaniels lost his balance and tumbled directly into the front of Davis’ knee as his leg was planted.
The Lakers said Davis had a left knee contusion and would undergo additional evaluation in Chicago on Saturday.
Davis’ absence was felt on the court, where the Timberwolves built an 85-65 advantage by the end of the third quarter.
The Timberwolves held a 61-58 lead with 7:40 remaining in the third quarter, but they surged ahead by scoring 11 straight points and finishing the frame on a 24-7 run.
Beasley hit back-to-back 3-pointers during the run. Frustrations boiled over for the Lakers late in the third quarter, with coach Frank Vogel and veteran Carmelo Anthony each drawing a technical foul.
Minnesota led 54-45 at the half. Towns had 23 points to lead all players.
The Timberwolves jumped to an 8-2 lead after the opening tipoff — and Towns had all eight of his team’s points. He converted a pair of three-point plays and sank an 11-foot hook shot over Davis.
In the second quarter, the Lakers pulled within 42-39 with 2:15 to go. But their deficit expanded as the Timberwolves scored 12 of the final 18 points before halftime.
Both teams dealt with roster challenges brought on by COVID-19.
The Timberwolves played without Anthony Edwards and Taurean Prince, both of whom were in health and safety protocols. The Lakers did not have Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker, Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard or Austin Reaves available.
–Field Level Media