LOS ANGELES: Anthony Davis shook off a twisted ankle to score 38 points and help the Los Angeles Lakers rally for a crucial 123-111 NBA victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday (Saturday in Manila).
The Lakers improved their record to 39-38 — their first time over.500 this season — and more importantly leapfrogged ahead of the Timberwolves into seventh place in the tight Western Conference playoff race.
LeBron James scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while D'Angelo Russell had 12 points and 10 assists as all five Lakers starters scored in double figures.
The Lakers trailed by as many as 13 early in the third and were charging when Davis twisted his left ankle late in the period, grimacing as he lay on the court and limping off before returning to the game.
He finished with 17 rebounds, going hard at Minnesota even before star Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert departed the game with a knee injury.
“He kicked our ass in every way possible,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said of Davis.
Added Lakers coach Darvin Ham: “It all starts with AD. We have a team that can make some things happen, but you've got to have that one pivotal force that can lead the charge… in our case, it's AD.”
With Davis leading the way, the Lakers out-scored the Timberwolves 35-18 in the third quarter to take control and Ham said early indications were that Davis's injury wasn't serious.
“I think it's just a twisted ankle,” Ham said.
Elsewhere in the West, the reigning champion Golden State Warriors remained in sixth place — good for the final direct entry to the playoffs without going through the play-in tournament — with a 130-115 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Stephen Curry scored 33 points, Klay Thompson added 31 and Jordan Poole chipped in 27 off the bench for the Warriors, who trailed for much of a sloppy first half but outscored the Spurs 43-27 in the fourth quarter to put it away.
In Boston, the Celtics followed up their big win over Milwaukee with 122-114 victory over the Utah Jazz.
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