After bizarre loss, Wolves reset vs. red-hot Lakers

The Minnesota Timberwolves had played well on the road until they suffered a disastrous finish at Oklahoma City on Friday.

Minnesota will face a challenge regrouping when they visit the red-hot Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

The Wolves dropped a 139-127 overtime decision to the Thunder when a series of mistakes cost them the game.

"I ain't never been a part of something like that," said Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, who had 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting with eight assists.

Towns was at the free-throw line with 1.1 seconds remaining with Minnesota clinging to a 121-119 lead. Towns missed the first free throw before Jordan Bell checked in and was called for delay of game for having his jersey untucked. That resulted in a technical foul.

Oklahoma City's Danilo Gallinari made a free throw to slice the deficit to one, but Towns converted his second free throw for a two-point Minnesota advantage.

However, Thunder center Steven Adams threw a full-court pass to Dennis Schroder, who hit a buzzer-beating layup to force overtime.

The Wolves, who fell for the third straight game, were outscored 17-5 in the extra session.

Jeff Teague had 32 points and nine assists for the Wolves, who are 7-4 on the road.

"I've been playing basketball for a long time, and I've never seen that before," said Minnesota guard Josh Okogie, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The Lakers are on one of their best runs in a long time. They capped a three-game swing with a 136-113 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday for their 11th consecutive road win. It's the third best run in franchise history and the longest streak since the 1972-73 Lakers won 12 in a row. The club record is 16 straight road wins by the 1971-72 Lakers.

The Lakers, who were tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the best record in the NBA at 20-3 entering Saturday's games, are 9-2 at home. The Lakers have won three in a row and 13 of their last 14 contests. A 114-100 defeat at home by the Dallas Mavericks is the lone loss during that stretch.

On Friday, Anthony Davis had 39 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, while LeBron James finished with 31 points, eight assists and seven boards for the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma added 15 points off the bench for Los Angeles, which shot 54.1 percent from the floor and converted 17 of 36 3-pointers (47.2 percent) against Portland.

"Our offense is starting to catch up with our defense a little bit," said James, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Lakers ranked first in the league in field goal percentage at 48.5 percent. Los Angeles also was among the top defensive clubs, leading the NBA in blocks at 7.4 and fourth in points allowed at 103.7 per game through Friday.

"We knew at some point that the cohesiveness and the rhythm would start to get better and better," James added. "It's been behind our defense for the majority of the season. Tonight it caught up with our defense, and it gave us a good boost closing out the road trip."

The contest against the Lakers will be the first of back-to-back games for the Wolves. They visit the Phoenix Suns on Monday.

--Field Level Media


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