Wolves romp over Lakers again

Reuters

Posted at Jan 02 2018 12:08 PM

Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng (5) goes to the basket as Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson (6) defends during the second half at Target Center. Jeffrey Becker, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Seven days after a Christmas Day blowout of the Lakers, the Minnesota Timberwolves doubled down with another beatdown of Los Angeles in a 114-96 rout Monday night in Minneapolis.

Jimmy Butler had a game-high 28 points and nine assists despite seven turnovers, Andrew Wiggins added 21 points and nine boards and Gorgui Dieng scored 17 to pace the Timberwolves' victory. Minnesota opened the game on a 16-0 run.

Karl-Anthony Towns amassed 16 points and 13 rebounds and Taj Gibson scored 14 to help complete a balanced Timberwolves scoring attack that put up 49.4 percent shooting from the floor (40 of 81).

Minnesota (24-14) followed up a 10-5 month of December with their seven win in the last eight games.

Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 20 points, Julius Randle totaled 15 points and 12 boards and Brandon Ingram chipped in 14 points.

Corey Brewer (12 points) and Josh Hart (10) were the only other double-digit scorers for a Lakers offense that could only manage 44.7 percent shooting (34 of 76).

Los Angeles (11-25) lost its seventh straight and has dropped 10 of 11 dating back to Dec. 12. The Lakers were defeated at home by the Timberwolves 121-104 on Christmas Day and went 3-11 in December.

Ingram's stepback jumper with 5:05 to play in the third quarter pulled Los Angeles within 78-72, but Gibson's dunk sparked a 13-4 Minnesota run to close the quarter.

Clarkson's runner at the 8:08 mark of the fourth got the Lakers back within 11 points at 97-86. Butler knocked down a pair of free throws and hit a turnaround jumper to stake the Timberwolves' lead at 101-86 and recapture the momentum.

The Timberwolves led 60-48 at halftime after outscoring the Lakers by 12 in the first quarter.

Minnesota heads out for a quick two-game road swing beginning Wednesday in Brooklyn. Los Angeles opens a five-game homestand Wednesday against Oklahoma City.

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