The Lakers edge out the Timberwolves in OT to capture the 7 seed in the West

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The Lakers survive the wild end against the Timberwolves to go 7 seeds

The Lakers come back from a 15-point deficit and beat the Timberwolves in overtime to book the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.

Los Angeles — LeBron James scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Los Angeles Lakers secured seventh place in the Western Playoffs with a grueling 108-102 overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA Championships on Tuesday night.

Dennis Schroeder scored 21 points and iced the win with two free throws with 8.4 seconds left in the game for the Lakers, who will face second-seeded Memphis in the first round starting Sunday.

Carl Anthony Towns scored 24 points and Mike Connelly hit three free throws with 0.1 seconds left in the standings to tie it with the Wolves, who host New Orleans or Oklahoma City on Friday for eighth place and a first-round date for the lead. Denver seeded starting Sunday.

The Pelicans host the Thunder on Wednesday night, and Minnesota must then play off the winner to reach the playoffs for only the third time in 19 seasons.

Anthony Davis scored 24 points, 15 rebounds and one unwise fumble on Conley, who scored 23 points. Los Angeles still survived a back-and-forth encounter with Minnesota, who gave an inspiring first three-quarter effort while playing without key players Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels.

Gobert is suspended for punching teammate Kyle Anderson during Minnesota’s final regular season game against New Orleans, while McDaniels is out indefinitely with a broken hand after punching a wall in frustration Sunday.

Los Angeles finally won the defense, holding Wolves to seven points in the final 11 minutes midway through the fourth quarter while the Lakers rebounded from a 15-point deficit in the second half. After driving for most of the night, Minnesota went scoreless for a full six minutes.

Schroeder drilled a 3-pointer tiebreaker with 1.4 seconds to play in regulation, but the Wolves forced overtime when Conley hit his free throws after Davis stomped on his foot after already shooting a 3-point attempt.

Los Angeles took a good three-pointer lead on the opening possession of overtime by Rui Hachimura, who had 12 points. The Wolves missed 11 straight shots before Anthony Edwards was dunked with 2:36 left in overtime.

Edwards scored just nine points—more than 15 points below his average—and left the field briefly in the second half to get a tap on his left shoulder.

D’Angelo Russell had a nightmare game for Los Angeles against the team he traded in February, scoring two points on 1-of-9 shooting with eight assists. He was taken off the bench in favor of Schroeder, who made his return from a two-game injury absence.

The game was the Lakers’ first non-regular season contest played in front of a full crowd since James joined the franchise five seasons earlier. Los Angeles spent the 2020 tournament in a Florida bubble, played to a half-full arena in its first-round loss to Phoenix in 2021, and missed the playoffs entirely in 2018 and 2022.

The Lakers haven’t had a large crowd for a non-regular season game since April 2013, when their home stadium was still Staples Center.

Minnesota coach Chris Finch said he had spent the past two days “sifting through the wreckage, if you will,” in the Wolves’ eventful season finale, which left his team without its best defender and leading defender on offense. James in recent club matches.

But Minnesota looked better than the Lakers from the start, jumping out to a huge early lead before taking a 14-2 lead to close out the second quarter to take a 60-49 halftime lead. Wolves’ lead finally waned after Townes left the game with five fouls early in the fourth quarter.

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