Timberwolves at Lakers: Odds, injuries, and what to watch for

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 24: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves scores past JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 24: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves scores past JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves will have a tall task as they try to overcome the heartbreak of Friday night’s loss by taking on the mighty Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

There’s been a lot made of the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ epic, delay-of-game-aided collapse on Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but fair or unfair, the Wolves have to pick themselves back up and fight to get back above the .500 mark.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, the first opportunity to do so comes against the class of the NBA in LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Entering play on Sunday, the Lakers have a 20-3 record, tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the best in the league. They’ve won three in a row and 13 of their last 14 games, while the Wolves have struggled to stay afloat of late.

The effort level on Sunday will tell us a lot more about the Wolves than the actual outcome of the game, as the Lakers are obviously heavy favorites. But with an important game against the Phoenix Suns just 24 hours later, Minnesota would have every right to mail this one in.

And if the Wolves had won in OKC on Friday, you might have excused them for resting a banged up Andrew Wiggins, and possibly even Karl-Anthony Towns, who is clearly laboring through his knee injury. But now, the Wolves need a good performance to show that they’re capable of bouncing back after the heartbreak of Friday’s loss.

Timberwolves odds against the Lakers

Favorite: Lakers (-9.5)
Over/under: 226
Moneyline: -700 Los Angeles/+500 Minnesota
Odds courtesy of The Action Network. Displayed odds current as of Sunday at 9:30 a.m. CT.

Tickets, TV and streaming info for Timberwolves at Lakers

Television: Fox Sports North
Radio: 830 WCCO
Stream: Fubo.tv offers streaming options
Tickets: StubHub offers ticketing options

What to watch for in Wolves at Lakers

This one’s easy: LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Outside of the pairing of two of the league’s best five players, the Lakers have a deadly center combination in JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, who have each enjoyed a resurgence of sorts in L.A.

The rest of the Lakers’ veteran rotation has been solid and done their jobs. They do basically everything well as a team, as you might expect from a team with a 20-3 record.

If there’s a potential weakness to exploit, it’s rebounding and the free throw battle. The Lakers are a middle-of-the-pack team on the glass and the Wolves’ bigger guards should be able to crash the glass and help the big men hold the likes of Davis, Howard, and McGee from having big rebounding nights.

The Lakers don’t get to the line that often and their 73.9 percent mark that they put up when they get there is fifth-worst in the league. The Wolves were destroyed in the free throw battle in OKC, as the Thunder attempted 40 from the line to Minnesota’s 20.

Injury Report

The Wolves will once again be without Jake Layman (toe). Towns is once again probable with his nagging knee issue, as is Shabazz Napier with his hamstring. Andrew Wiggins didn’t play on Friday with his left thumb sprain and he is officially questionable Sunday, as is Jeff Teague with an ankle issue that cropped up in his season-high scoring performance in Oklahoma City.

The Lakers are still without Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. Kyle Kuzma and Anthony Davis are both probable.

Next. Breaking down Wolves' struggles against lead guards. dark

We’ll be back after the game with player grades. Enjoy your Sunday!