LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers claimed the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a grueling 108-102 overtime victory over the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA’s play-in tournament Tuesday night.
Dennis Schröder scored 21 points and iced the win with two free throws with 8.4 seconds left for the Lakers, who will face second-seeded Memphis in the first round starting Sunday.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 24 points and Mike Conley hit three free throws with 0.1 seconds left in regulation to tie it for the Wolves, who will host New Orleans or Oklahoma City on Friday for the eighth spot and a first-round date with top-seeded Denver beginning Sunday. The Pelicans host the Thunder on Wednesday night.
Anthony Davis had 24 points, 15 rebounds and one tremendously ill-advised foul on Conley, who scored 23 points. Los Angeles survived a back-and-forth meeting with Minnesota, which gave an inspired effort while playing without starters Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels.
Gobert is suspended for punching teammate Kyle Anderson during Minnesota’s regular-season finale against New Orleans, while McDaniels is out indefinitely with a broken hand after punching a wall in frustration Sunday.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis lead the Lakers to a HUGE Play-In win in OT 😤— BasketballNews.com (@basketbllnews) April 12, 2023
LeBron: 30 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST
AD: 24 PTS, 15 REB, 4 AST, 3 BLK
Shoutout Dennis Schroder for his 21 points and clutch buckets off the bench 🔥 pic.twitter.com/D2m0HZkMS7
Los Angeles finally won it with defense, holding the Wolves to seven points in the final 11 minutes from midway through the fourth quarter while the Lakers rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half.
Schröder drilled a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds to play in regulation, but the Wolves forced overtime when Conley hit three free throws with 0.1 seconds left after Davis stepped on his foot after he had already released a 3-point attempt.
D’Angelo Russell had a nightmare game for Los Angeles against the team that traded him in February, scoring two points on 1-of-9 shooting with eight assists. He was benched down the stretch by Schröder, who came through tremendously.
Timberwolves: McDaniels attended the game.
Lakers: Schröder returned from a two-game injury absence. ... Tristan Thompson and Shaq Harrison were in uniform for the first time after signing last Sunday. Neither veteran played.
Timberwolves: Host Pelicans or Thunder on Friday.
Lakers: At Grizzlies on Sunday.