NBA regular season

Top NBA west team Timberwolves foil late Lakers rally for win No. 24


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Top NBA west team Timberwolves foil late Lakers rally for win No. 24

STILL THE BEST. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) fouls Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns (32) as he goes to the basket in the fourth quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The Minnesota Timberwolves raise their record to an NBA west-best 24-7 off a thrilling two-point escape of the Los Angeles Lakers

Anthony Edwards scored 31 points in 38 minutes, and the Minnesota Timberwolves held on for a 108-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night (Sunday, December 31, Manila time) in Minneapolis.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker contributed 21 points off the bench for Minnesota, which improved its Western Conference-leading record to 24-7. Mike Conley added 15 points and seven assists, and Rudy Gobert registered 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 33 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists. Davis also had four steals and a pair of blocked shots for the Lakers, who fell to 0-2 against Minnesota this season.

LeBron James finished with 26 points on 10-for-21 shooting on his 39th birthday. No other Lakers player scored in double digits.

A technical on Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels gave the Lakers an opportunity to rally from a seven-point deficit in the final 31 seconds.

Austin Reaves made the technical free throw, and James made a free throw to complete a three-point play on McDaniels’ initial foul. That brought Los Angeles within 107-104.

With 3.1 seconds left, James tried to make a game-tying 3-pointer, but his foot was ruled to be on the line by a razor-thin margin and the basket counted for two points instead. That preserved a 107-106 lead for Minnesota.

Edwards drew a foul with 1.1 seconds remaining and made one of two free throws to give the Timberwolves a two-point lead.

The Lakers’ final play fizzled as the buzzer sounded to end the game.

Minnesota led 61-57 at the half.

The Lakers jumped to a 17-6 lead in the first five minutes. Davis had nine points during that run.

The Timberwolves battled back to grab a 22-21 lead later in the first quarter. Kyle Anderson made a jump shot off a pass from Alexander-Walker to put Minnesota on top.

Los Angeles pulled back ahead by 10 points early in the second quarter. Christian Wood sank one of two free throws to make it 39-29 with 9:29 to go before the break.

Minnesota outscored the Lakers 32-19 to close the half. –

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