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Anthony Davis plays through injury to help Lakers secure big win vs. Wolves

The Lakers went on a massive run in the second half to pass the Timberwolves both on the night, and in the standings.

Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

In their latest critical game in a series of them down the stretch, the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t play perfect for 48 minutes, but they were able to turn it on for long enough to knock the Timberwolves down a peg in the Western Conference play-in race with a 123-111 win in Minnesota on Friday.

With the victory, the Lakers moved to 39-38 overall, finally crossing the .500 threshold for the first time this season and moving into sole possession of seventh place in the West due to owning the tiebreaker with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Lakers looked fairly doomed in the first half while falling behind by double digits as LeBron James fired up brick after brick, but a 24-2 run in the third quarter — a stretch that included holding Minny scoreless for five consecutive minutes — allowed the team to retake the lead, 90-83, heading into the final frame. They would never trail again.

There were a lot of contributors to allow the Lakers to win a game on a night when James looked out of rhythm (shooting 7-19 from the field on the evening), but Dennis Schröder deserves special mention. The Menace was great tonight, earning the nickname LeBron loves so much on defense with his brand of uniquely pesky point-of-attack defense to irritate Minnesota. That’s tuff.

Something to watch moving forward will be the status of Anthony Davis. He got hurt in the third quarter at the start of the Lakers’ big run, collapsing to the ground and initially appearing unable to stand while grabbing his left ankle. But he eventually got up, limped off under his own power, tied his shoes tighter and stayed in the game. That’s tough.

Davis looked a bit physically limited afterward, but still managed to use his preposterous combination of size and skill to grit his way to 38 points and 17 rebounds, with 21 of those points coming after he rolled his ankle.

Only time will tell how bad that ankle will stiffen up overnight, but the news at least was not as catastrophic as it initially appeared. It goes without saying, but another significant injury absence for Davis, at this point in the season, is probably the end for any realistic hopes this team has to do anything of substance this year.

For now, however, those hopes are alive thanks to Davis’ heart, Dennis’ hustle and the whole team’s gutty third quarter. Next up the team will head to Houston for a matchup with the Rockets as their final, five-game road trip of the season continues.

You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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