Karl-Anthony Towns scored 18 of his 29 points during Minnesota's dominant third quarter, and the Timberwolves snapped their six-game losing streak with a 107-83 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
D'Angelo Russell had 22 points against his former team and Patrick Beverley added 11 points and seven rebounds for Minnesota, which seized control while outscoring the Lakers 40-12 in the third. The surge started with a stunning 29-4 run out of halftime, and Russell added 11 points early in the fourth quarter as the underachieving Wolves rolled to their first win since Oct. 27.
Anthony Davis had 22 points and eight rebounds as the Lakers dropped to 2-3 with LeBron James sidelined by a strained abdominal muscle.
Russell Westbrook scored 20 points on his 33rd birthday for Los Angeles, which had a solid first half before disintegrating in the third and losing for the fourth time in 11 games.
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Towns led the Wolves' charge out of halftime, going 6 for 7 with four 3-pointers — and mocking Carmelo Anthony's celebratory 3-point head-tap gesture at least twice along the way. After holding the Lakers to their lowest-scoring quarter of the season in the third, Minnesota stretched its lead to 33 points early in the fourth.
Anthony had three points on 1-of-12 shooting in the 19-year veteran's first nightmare game for the Lakers, who shot 11 for 44 and committed 13 turnovers in the second half.
While the injury-plagued Lakers still have a winning record, their rebooted roster has already taken its share of humiliating defeats this season, getting drilled in Portland last week and losing twice to rebuilding Oklahoma City.
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Anthony Edwards had nine points for Minnesota in his first game since dropping a career-high 48 on Golden State.
The Lakers made a 22-4 run in the first quarter, but Minnesota scored 11 consecutive points in the second. The Wolves opened the second half with a 22-3 spurt and held LA without a field goal for nearly eight minutes, abruptly turning a competitive game into a blowout while the Staples Center crowd booed.
Timberwolves: Jarred Vanderbilt started in place of Jaden McDaniels. ... Towns got a technical foul in the third quarter for hitting Davis in the groin while driving to the hoop.
Lakers: Rookie Austin Reaves missed his second straight game with a hamstring strain. ... Wayne Ellington started instead of DeAndre Jordan. ... Debuted their City Edition uniforms, a purple-and-baby-blue tribute to the Minneapolis Lakers' early-1960s look.
Timberwolves: At Clippers on Saturday.
Lakers: Host Spurs on Sunday.