June 21, 2024

As the third quarter turned to the fourth quarter, rarely-used Minnesota big man Luka Garza flipped the ball into the bucket just before the buzzer.

The play came after another turnover, a string of mistakes increasingly maddening and propping open the door against the severely undermanned Timberwolves.

Last week, Minnesota lost Karl-Anthony Towns to a meniscus tear. On Sunday, the Timberwolves played without Rudy Gobert and without Towns’ replacement in the starting five, Kyle Anderson.

And after the Garza basket, the Lakers entered the fourth quarter trailing by one, again looking like a team allergic to good vibes and momentum.

But even turnovers — and the Lakers had 20 of them — couldn’t get in the way of the kind of game Anthony Davis had.

Davis and the Lakers’ defense responded with a 21-4 run after Garza’s basket, a reminder of what they’re capable of achieving, in a 120-109 win at Crypto.com Arena.

It wrapped a stretch in which the Lakers played seven consecutive games in their building (once as a road team) and picked up victories over the Clippers, Wizards, Thunder, Bucks and Timberwolves.

Against Minnesota, Davis played a stellar all-around game despite dealing with a shoulder bruise he sustained Friday. He became the first NBA player to have at least 27 points, 25 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and three blocks in a game.

LeBron James, who sat out the win over Milwaukee, returned and led the Lakers (36-30) with 29 points. Austin Reaves had 19, Rui Hachimura scored 15 and D’Angelo Russell had 13.

Anthony Edwards and Naz Reid led Minnesota (44-21) with 25 points apiece. The Timberwolves turned the Lakers’ 20 turnovers into 28 points.

Edwards had one of the plays of the night early when he tried for a wild highlight slam on Davis, but the ball was partially blocked and ricocheted off the rim.

The victory put the Lakers six games over .500 for the first time this season.

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