Playoff Bound: Lakers defeat the weakened Timberwolves in a thrilling overtime game

The Lakers beat the Timberwolves in an exciting overtime game to secure a spot in the playoffs.

Image Credit: Ocregister

In the NBA Play-In Tournament's opening round, Dennis Schroeder, the Los Angeles Lakers' backup point guard, made a shot that seemed to be the game-winner against the Minnesota Timberwolves with only 1.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

However, the Lakers' joy was short-lived because Anthony Davis, the team's star, fouled Wolves guard Mike Conley on a three-point attempt only a second later. Conley made all three free-throw shots, tying the game and forcing it into overtime.

Although the Lakers seemed to be trailing for much of the game, the final moments of the fourth quarter represented their performance during the Play-In game as a whole. Despite being down by 11 points at halftime, the Lakers relied on the efforts of LeBron James and Davis, who played for 45 and 42 minutes, respectively, to secure a 108-102 victory over the short-handed Timberwolves in overtime

James and Davis combined for 54 points, 25 rebounds, and 10 assists, while Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns led his team with 24 points and 11 rebounds. The Lakers' victory allowed them to advance from the Play-In Tournament and secure the 7th seed in the NBA Western Conference Playoffs.

In the post-game interview, LeBron James playfully criticized Anthony Davis for ruining Dennis Schroeder's opportunity to shine. James made the lighthearted remark during the TNT broadcast, saying, "I'm sorry AD has a brain fart." Davis even appeared from off-screen to apologize to Schroeder, but the 29-year-old guard was simply delighted to be given the chance to make the shot.

"I had the same shot earlier this year and missed," Schroeder explained to sideline reporter Allie LaForce.

The Lakers were fortunate in many ways as they competed for a place in the NBA Western Conference Playoffs.

The Los Angeles Lakers were the 7th seed in the Western Conference when the regular season ended, which meant they had to defend their playoff position in the Play-In Tournament. However, they were strong favorites to win their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.

Not only did the Lakers have the advantage of playing at home throughout the Play-In Tournament, but they also faced an injury-depleted Minnesota team in their opening game. The Timberwolves were missing their two most influential defenders: 3-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and versatile wing defender Jaden McDaniels.

Gobert was suspended by the team for the Lakers game after punching his teammate Kyle Anderson during a bench huddle in Sunday's victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

As a consequence of the altercation with his teammate Kyle Anderson, Rudy Gobert was sent home for the remainder of the game against the New Orleans Pelicans, which the Timberwolves won by a narrow margin, thus keeping their playoff aspirations alive. Gobert has publicly and privately expressed regret for his actions, but the team decided to exclude him from Tuesday's Play-In game in Los Angele.

In that same game against the Pelicans, Jaden McDaniels sustained a fractured hand, apparently after punching a wall in frustration. It is unclear when he will return to the court, but he is not anticipated to play in any games of the Play-In Tournament.

As the top seed in the Play-In Tournament, the Los Angeles Lakers only needed to win one game to secure their spot in the NBA Playoffs. They will now enter the playoffs as the 7th seed and will face the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, April 16 at noon.

Following their defeat to the Lakers on Tuesday night, the Timberwolves will not go back home to host the winner of the 9 vs. 10 seed matchup featuring the Pelicans and the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the Timberwolves win that game, they will claim the 8th seed in the playoffs and a chance to play against the 1st-seeded Denver Nuggets. However, if they lose, their season will come to an end.

Although they struggled to secure a playoff spot, the Lakers managed to win 14 out of 20 games in March and April, thanks in large part to the impressive play of center Anthony Davis.

Despite the unfortunate incident on Tuesday that may be what he is remembered for, Davis had an achievement earlier that day when he was named the Western Conference Player of the Month. This was the third time he had received the monthly honor in his career and the first time as a Lakers player.

Post a Comment