MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ricky Rubio had a career-high 33 points, 10 assists and five rebounds and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 32 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 119-104 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
Rubio shot 4 of 5 on 3-pointers and Andrew Wiggins scored 27 points for the Timberwolves (30-44), who have now won more games than they did last season. Minnesota had 30 assists and only 11 turnovers.
Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points and D’Angelo Russell had 14 points and seven assists for the Lakers (21-54), who have lost 17 of their last 19 games. Brandon Ingram missed his third straight game with patellar tendinitis in his right knee.
After playing well coming out of the All-Star break to revive their playoff hopes, the Wolves lost six straight earlier this month to fade from contention. One of those losses was an ugly one to the Lakers in Los Angeles last week and they were in danger of giving away another lead late to the lowly Lakers when Jordan Clarkson hit a 3 to pull LA within nine in the final four minutes.
But Rubio scored on a drive to the basket and knocked down a 21-foot jumper to hold off the comeback. A 37 percent shooter for his career, Rubio entered his final game of March shooting 45.8 percent for the month and made 12 of 20 field goals.
Gorgui Dieng added 11 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and three blocks for Minnesota.
Julius Randle had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Tarik Black had 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Lakers, who entered the day a half-game ahead of the Suns for the second-worst record in the NBA.
Lakers: Coach Luke Walton said the plan was for Ingram to practice on Friday and play on Saturday if all went well. … Thomas Robinson, who had not played in four of the last five games, gave the Lakers a lift with 12 points in 14 minutes. … The Lakers bench outscored Minnesota’s 47-10.
Timberwolves: Minnesota scored 25 points off of 17 Lakers turnovers. … Debbie Saunders presented a check for $6,000 to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx Basketball Academy on behalf of the Flip Saunders Legacy Fund, named for the former Wolves president and coach who died from complications involving lymphoma in 2015.
Lakers big man Ivica Zubac limped off the floor two minutes into the game with a sprained right ankle. Zubac was taken for X-rays, which were negative, the Lakers said. He suffered a high ankle sprain and will be evaluated when the Lakers get back to Los Angeles.
Lakers: Los Angeles heads back home, but it’s technically for a road game against the Clippers on Saturday.
Timberwolves: Minnesota plays the second of a three-game home stand on Saturday against Sacramento.
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