NBA Game Preview: Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota T’Wolves

Mar 31, 2023

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Game: Los Angeles Lakers @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Odds: Lakers +1, TWolves -1

Total: 232.5

The Los Angeles Lakers believe they have a shot at making the playoffs this year, and Anthony Davis will be their driver on an exciting late-season journey. When the Lakers play the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis tonight, the eight-time All-Star will once more be expected to take the initiative.

In the Western Conference standings, the Lakers and Timberwolves are both just outside the top six going into the game. With five games left, Minnesota (39-38) is one game behind the Golden State Warriors in sixth place. With six games remaining, Los Angeles (38-38) is 1 1/2 games behind Golden State. The top six teams automatically advance to the first round of the playoffs, while the bottom four teams are sent to the play-in competition.

The Lakers defeated the Chicago Bulls 121-110 on Wednesday night to begin the first of a crucial five-game road trip in the late season. Davis led the Lakers with 38 points and 10 rebounds. The final game of that trip, though, is against the Clippers in their own arena. Despite being double-teamed for the majority of the game, Davis recorded his seventh double-double in March and reached at least 35 points for the fifth time in 12 games this month. He will be expected to end the month in the same manner that he began it on March 3, when he scored 38 points against the visiting Timberwolves. However, Minnesota prevailed, 110–102.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost that game without LeBron James, but even with James back in the lineup after missing a month due to a foot injury, their attack strategy won’t change. In his second game following his injury, James scored 25 points and pulled down seven rebounds against the Bulls. When Davis consistently makes shots from outside the paint, as he did on Wednesday, he is one of the NBA’s most dynamic players.

When Minnesota lost 107-100 to the Phoenix Suns on the road to end a three-game road trip, it lost the opportunity to match its longest winning streak of the season, which was five games. The TWolves committed 21 turnovers. Wednesday night’s contest was made more challenging by the Suns’ 27 free throw attempts as opposed to the Timberwolves’ 12 attempts.

Minnesota was without Taurean Prince, Austin Rivers, and Matt Ryan due to an intestinal flu that has affected the team. All three are listed as questionable for tonight. James is questionable for the Lakers but is likely to play.

The Lakers are 4-1 SU in their last five games but haven’t had much success against Minnesota recently. In the last six games against the TWolves, Los Angeles is 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS. The Twolves are also 4-1 SU in their last five games. They have not been good against the number at home though. Minnesota is 1-5 ATS in the team’s last six home games.

The Under has hit in 12 of the Lakers’ last 18 games. In this series, the Under is a perfect 6-0 in the last six head-to-head meetings.

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