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Lakers vs. Timberwolves: Game preview, starting time, TV

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Four quarters left.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are fresh off of getting demolished by Anthony Davis, heading up to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves for their final game before the All-Star break. After playing was felt like their best basketball of the year — despite Lonzo Ball’s absence — the Lakers are looking lost once again.

Defense has been the big problem, and head coach Luke Walton has been adamant that it’s simple things. Calling switches, making the correct rotations and things of that nature. He acknowledged that the departure of Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson would have some obvious impact, but still doesn’t want his roster to lean on excuses.

The Timerwolves have six players averaging double-digit scoring, proud owners of the third-best offense in NBA. Minnesota averages 111.2 points per 100 possessions. Strangely enough for a Tom Thibodeau coached team, the Timerwolves have the fifth-worst defense in the league, allowing 108.4 points per 100 possessions. Strange times.

It’s hard to imagine the Lakers getting up for this game. They’ve looked uninspired since the trade deadline, are four quarters of basketball away from the break and are on the second half of a road back-to-back. These simple facts alone point to a Lakers loss.

We’ve seen crazier things, of course, but the Lakers are limping into the much-needed break right now. Enjoy the game, the last time we’ll see the purple and gold in action until Feb. 23 against Dallas.

Time: 6 p.m. PT

TV: TNT