MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and 10 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves blasted the emaciated Los Angeles Lakers 110-22 on Friday night for the second time this season.
According to coach Chris Finch, Townes has recently redoubled his efforts to establish himself as the best big player in the league.
“I just get whatever he wants, where he wants,” Finch said.
On Wednesday night in Denver, Towns scored 32 points ahead of Nikola Jokic.
“I’m going to let people make their assumptions and make judgments. I just know that every day I come here, I play the game with tremendous confidence, ”Townes said.
Malik Beasley and D’Angelo Russell each averaged 17 points, while Jarred Vanderbilt made a record 16 rebounds, helping the Wolves win their third game in a row. They played for the first time without star Anthony Edwards, who was on the NBA Health and Safety Records this afternoon.
“I wanted to set a standard. I wanted to try to get into the game as soon as possible, realizing that the Ant isn’t here, ”Townes said.
LeBron James has 18 points and 10 rebounds in favor of the Lakers, which are further hit by COVID-19 with six players on the list. Isaiah Thomas made his season debut with 19 points, Russell Westbrook with 14 points, Kent Basemore with 11 points, but Anthony Davis was eliminated twice due to various injuries.
“Do justice where it owes its due: Minnesota had a hell of a game,” James said.
The Wolves, who beat the Lakers 107-83 in Los Angeles without James on November 12, had a 61-36 rebound advantage, including 15-1 on the attack glass.
“They definitely played more physical basketball today and we need to get better,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel.
Davis injured his right ankle at the end of the first quarter, returned in the second quarter, and then bruised his left knee in the third quarter. He didn’t come back from this. Davis, who missed two games last week with pain in his left knee, finished with nine points and one rebound in 20 minutes.
It didn’t matter who defended Towns. He had 23 points on 9-of-14 shots in the first half, while all the other players who saw the pitch for both teams combined threw 25 of 77 from the floor.
In a nationally televised game that only started at 9:15 pm, the teams missed a total of 25 of 26 attempts from three-pointers in the first quarter. Townes gave the energy to make up for early misses. Every time he made his way to the hoop and made the ball fall, Townes flexed his muscles and screamed to himself in satisfaction.
The Timberwolves withstood all of the Lakers’ attacks. They were leading 61-47 after Vanderbilt stole the ball from James and fed the Beasley for a fast break dunk, only to see the guests bounce back 11-0. The Timberwolves responded with an 11-0 move of their own, with Beasley as fuel.
“We always feel that we have enough money to win. We do not feel sorry for ourselves, ”Vogel said.
It was Edwards’ first absence in his young career after 100 straight games.
Edwards scored 38 points on 10-of-14 shots from the three-point distance in Denver on Wednesday and became the seventh player in NBA history to score 2,000 points in 100 games in his 20s and younger. Two of the first six, James and Carmelo Anthony, play for the Lakers.
Lakers’ minutes included Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn and Austin Reeves. Trevor Ariza (ankle) also remained unavailable.
The good side was that Westbrook stayed with them even after the one day hiatus. He played the last game in Dallas on Wednesday and had to stay until he was allowed to travel to Minnesota.
The Lakers even brought Thomas back on a 10-day extreme depth contract as the 5’9-inch fan favorite marked the official start of his 11th season in the NBA. Thomas scored 42 points in the G League game on Wednesday.
Chaudie Brown Jr. made his NBA debut and played 15 minutes.
Lakers: Basemore didn’t score in 15 minutes in the previous game and didn’t even make it into the game before. … Horton-Tucker, Howard and Monk missed their second game in a row.
Tree Wolves: The Taurus Prince has joined Edwards in health and safety protocols. Finch said both players had no symptoms. … Towns was presented with the NBA’s monthly community service award for the November before the game in recognition of his support for homeless youth.
The Lakers are scheduled to play in Chicago on Sunday night. The Bulls, which had two games postponed this week due to 10 players on their health and safety records, were allowed to resume training on Saturday.
The Timberwolves host Dallas on Sunday night. The Mavericks will play a rematch on Tuesday night.
More on AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports