The Los Angeles Lakers were given a rude welcome to the NBA Finals on Wednesday night when LeBron James and Co. ran into two hungry wolves in Game 1 of the series. The Timberwolves scored 106 points in their win, led by Karl-Anthony Towns’ 29 point 12 rebound double-double and Jimmy Butler’s 27 point 11 assist effort that carried his team past LA to start an extremely impressive championship run.
The “kat towns” is a basketball game between the “Towns, Wolves Thrash Lakers 107.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns scored 18 of his 29 points in Minnesota’s strong third quarter, and the Timberwolves beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-83 on Friday night to stop a six-game losing run.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 12: In the third quarter at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, Anthony Edwards #1 of the Minnesota Timberwolves earns an offensive foul against Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers. NOTE TO THE END USER: By downloading and/or using this Photograph, the user explicitly accepts and agrees to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Ronald Martinez)
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D’Angelo Russell scored 22 points and Patrick Beverley had 11 points and seven rebounds for Minnesota, which took control in the third quarter by outscoring the Lakers 40-12. The Wolves’ comeback began with a surprising 29-4 run out of halftime, and Russell added 11 points early in the fourth quarter as they cruised to their first victory since Oct. 27.
With LeBron James out with an injured abdominal muscle, the Lakers fell to 1-3. Anthony Davis scored 22 points and eight rebounds.
Los Angeles, which had a strong first half before unraveling in the third and falling for the fourth time in 11 games, was led by Russell Westbrook, who scored 20 points on his 33rd birthday.
Towns was the catalyst for the Wolves’ comeback after halftime, hitting 6 for 7 with four 3-pointers and imitating Carmelo Anthony’s celebration 3-point head-tap motion at least twice. Minnesota pushed their advantage to 33 points early in the fourth quarter after restricting the Lakers to their lowest-scoring quarter of the season in the third.
In the 19-year veteran’s first nightmarish game for the Lakers, who shot 11 for 44 and had 13 turnovers in the second half, Anthony scored three points on 1-of-12 shooting.
While the Lakers’ injury-plagued team still has a winning record, they have already suffered a number of embarrassing setbacks this season, including a thrashing in Portland last week and two losses to rebuilding Oklahoma City.
In his first game after scoring a career-high 48 points against Golden State, Anthony Edwards scored nine points for Minnesota.
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In the first quarter, the Lakers went on a 22-4 run, but Minnesota answered with 11 straight points in the second. The Wolves went on a 22-3 run to start the second half, holding LA without a field goal for over eight minutes and turning a close game into a blowout while the Staples Center crowd groaned.
Jarred Vanderbilt started in place of Jaden McDaniels for the Timberwolves. In the third quarter, Towns received a technical foul for striking Davis in the groin while driving to the basket.
Austin Reaves, a rookie with the Lakers, has missed his second consecutive game due to a hamstring issue. DeAndre Jordan was benched in favor of Wayne Ellington. Their City Edition outfits, a purple-and-baby-blue homage to the Minneapolis Lakers’ early 1960s style, were unveiled.
On Saturday, the Timberwolves visit the Clippers.
On Sunday, the Lakers will host the Spurs.
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