The Los Angeles Lakers continued their early season dominance with a 142-125 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center in L.A. on Sunday night.
Lakers All-Star forward Anthony Davis carried the Lakers with 50 points, coming nine points shy of his career-high. Through Davis' wire-to-wire excellence, L.A. was able to overcome LeBron James finding himself in uncharacteristic foul trouble as he entered halftime with four personal fouls.
The Lakers improved to 21-3. They have won four in a row and 14 of their last 15 en route to topping the Western Conference.
The 10-12 Timberwolves, meanwhile, have dropped four straight.
LAL F Anthony Davis: 50 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 1 block
LAL G LeBron James: 32 points, 4 rebounds, 13 assists, 1 steal
LAL G Alex Caruso: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
LAL G Danny Green: 12 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
MIN F Andrew Wiggins: 19 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists
MIN C Karl-Anthony Towns: 19 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal
MIN G Josh Okogie: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist
Anthony Davis Leads Lakers with First 50-Burger of the Season
This is why the Lakers traded for Davis.
James called for four fouls before halftime? No problem, as Davis led L.A. on an 11-0 run to finish the second quarter and entered the locker room with 27 points:
Prior to that, Davis opened the contest with 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field:
All told, Davis had 42 points on 18-of-24 shooting by the end of the third quarter. It marked the third game with at least 40 points this season for the 26-year-old All-Star.
The Timberwolves had no answers for Davis in the paint:
Davis' 50 points came two days after he dropped 39 points in the Lakers' 136-113 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. It marked the first time Davis has scored 50 points in a game since Feb. 26, 2018. He also joined elite Lakers company:
"It's just the respect and understanding between the two of us," James told Spectrum SportsNet of Davis following the Portland game. "We hold each other accountable every game and when it starts with us, it trickles down to everybody else on the team. So, we all buy in."
That was on display against the Timberwolves as Davis' big night also resulted in the Lakers as a group shooting 58.5 percent from the field (45.2 percent from three).
Karl-Anthony Towns Pales in Comparison to Davis
Towns was selected first overall in the 2015 NBA draft out of Kentucky.
Davis was selected first overall in the 2012 NBA draft out of Kentucky.
And that's seemingly where their similarities end as Davis performed superior to Towns in almost every way:
Towns did further etch his place in Timberwolves franchise history:
But it was hard to do anything other than compare Towns to Davis, and the conclusion was that Towns still hasn't found his way into the top tier of big men in the league.
Towns is solid and has been since entering the league. However, the Timberwolves need him to be transcendent as the pillar of their team.
That said, Towns can't be expected to do it all alone. Entering Sunday, the 24-year-old led the team in points per game (26.2), rebounds (11.9) and blocks (1.4).
If nothing else, Towns is more than enough for Grammy Award nominee Lizzo:
The Timberwolves will get a better gauge of where exactly they stack up in the Western Conference against 10-12 Phoenix and 13-10 Utah this week, though it was made clear against the Lakers that they are nowhere near the top.
The Timberwolves will stay west, traveling to Phoenix to play the 10-12 Suns on Monday night.
The Lakers will travel to Orlando to face the 11-11 Magic on Wednesday night.