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Lakers vs. Timberwolves Game Preview: Encore

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Can the Lakers make it back-to-back wins over Minny?

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers get another shot at the Minnesota Timberwolves, taking another crack at a team they beat in overtime less than a week ago. The Timberwolves had no answer for Jordan Clarkson, who splashed a career-high eight three-pointers in their faces, and Minnesota was simply out of gas by the end of regulation

Things are different this time around, though, with the Lakers playing in one of their final road games of the season. An earlier tip-off and being away from STAPLES Center could swing the pendulum in the T-Wolves favor Thursday afternoon.

Brandon Ingram will continue to sit out as he nurses right patellar tendinitis but the rest of the gang — sans veterans who are riding the bench and collecting their check to close the season — is ready to roll.

The Lakers struggled dealing with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins last time around, but Towns cooled off a bit in the second half. That allowed the Lakers to clean up allowing 40 points in the second quarter.

There are just eight games left in the season, leaving precious few moments left for fans to enjoy — if that’s what you call it — Lakers basketball. These are a crucial eight games for a variety of reasons, perhaps none more than the Lakers’ final odds heading into the draft lottery.

The Suns still have a half-game to make up, trailing the Lakers. Phoenix is on a nine-game losing streak, though, and is off tonight. A Lakers win would tie things up, and this is the last “winnable” game that’s on their schedule. Blood pressure may be on the rise in Southern California.

Either way, enjoy the game which once again features some of the top young talent in the league.

Time: 5 p.m. PT

TV: Spectrum SportsNet