D’ANGELO Russell drilled the game-winner as the surging Los Angeles Lakers recovered from blowing a 16-point first-half lead to stun the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves, 110-109, and spoil stellar outings by Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins on Sunday (Monday, Manila time) at the Staples Center.
The Lakers got off to a strong start, leading by as much as 16 midway through the second quarter before Towns and Wiggins teamed up in a 23-7 blitz to tie the game at 53 early in the third.
Minnesota led by as much as seven after intermission before the home team rallied to turn the game into a back-and-forth battle in the fourth.
Metta World Peace sparked the Lakers in the fourth to take a five-point early lead, but Towns again rallied the Timberwolves to regain control, 99-95, with over five minutes to play.
A Wiggins layup gave Minnesota its last taste of the lead, 109-105, with only 33 seconds left, but Julius Randle answered with a slam despite the foul from Towns. Randle missed the bonus free throw, but Larry Nance Jr. came up with a huge block on Ricky Rubio to secure the final possession for the Lakers.
World Peace missed on a triple, but Randle gathered the rebound and swung the ball to Russell, who sank the game-winning trey as time expired to give the Lakers their fourth straight win.
Tyler Ennis had a season-high 20 points for the Lakers, while Clarkson added 17. Russell ended up with 16 points.
The Timberwolves wasted a rare 40-20 game from Towns, who finished with 40 points and 21 rebounds. Wiggins also had a huge game in a losing effort with 41 markers to lead all scorers.