Butler returns as Wolves beat Lakers 113-96
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 07, 2018 01:17 PM
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler dunks against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Friday, April 6, 2018. The Timberwolves won, 113-96. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
By Alex Vejar, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 18 points in his return from right knee surgery, Jeff Teague had 25 points and eight assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Los Angeles Lakers 113-96 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
Butler played 22.5 minutes and was 7-for-10 from the field in his first game since getting hurt against Houston on Feb. 23 (Feb. 24, PHL time). He had surgery two days later for a cartilage injury and missed 17 games.
Minnesota moved into sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference.
Taj Gibson also scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Karl-Anthony Towns had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were on the second night of a back-to-back. They lost to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday (Friday, PHL time).
Julius Randle scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost nine of their last 13. Brook Lopez had 18 points and six rebounds, while Josh Hart tallied 20 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.
The Timberwolves took a 96-76 lead on a jump shot by Jamal Crawford. Los Angeles cut its deficit to 13 with 4:42 remaining in the game, but Minnesota scored six straight points, then opened up a 21-point lead with 2:06 left.
Minnesota started the third quarter with a 16-6 run and took a 67-64 lead on a basket Butler. Teague, Andrew Wiggins and Towns all made three-pointers to give the Timberwolves an eight-point lead with 3:25 remaining in the period.
Towns capped an 11-2 run with a put-back layup to give Minnesota a 78-68 advantage with 2:12 remaining in the third. Josh Hart made a three-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer and the Lakers trailed 80-73.
Los Angeles went on a 9-0 run after trailing 36-32 in the second quarter. An 11-0 run four minutes later gave the Lakers a 52-40 lead with 3:08 remaining in the first half.
Gibson’s basket cut Minnesota’s deficit to 56-50. The Timberwolves trailed 58-51 at halftime. Despite shooting only 29 percent from the field, the Lakers outscored the Timberwolves 32-21 in the second quarter.
Lopez scored the first 15 points for the Lakers, outscoring Minnesota by himself over the first six minutes of the game. The rest of the team, however, scored only 11 points the rest of the quarter.
Timberwolves: Outscored the Lakers 62-44 in points in the paint. ... All five starters scored in double figures.
Lakers: Channing Frye was assessed a flagrant 1 foul in the opening minutes of the second quarter. ... Kuzma left the game in the third quarter with a mild left ankle sprain and did not return. ... Luke Walton was assessed a technical foul in the fourth quarter.
Timberwolves: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time).
Lakers: Host the Utah Jazz on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).