Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) makes a 3-point basket in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter of the team's NBA basketball play-in tournament game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Lakers Defeat Timberwolves in Play-In to Secure Playoff Spot

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-102 in overtime Tuesday night to secure the seventh seed and advance to the playoffs, where they will face the two-seed Memphis Grizzlies in the first round.

Short-Handed Wolves

Minnesota was without Rudy Gobert and Jaden McDaniels, but the Lakers still struggled against their undermanned roster for much of the first three quarters.

Gobert was suspended after an altercation with teammate Kyle Anderson, while McDaniels was ruled out for the remainder of the season after punching a wall and fracturing his right hand.

Game Tape

At the half, LA was down 60-49, and this 11-point deficit extended.

The Lakers found themselves trailing 80-65 with 4:23 in the third. It was 80-65 with 4:23 to go in the third, but a switch turned as the Lakers were able to cut the Wolves’ lead to seven to close out the quarter. Heading into the last 12 minutes of play, the Lakers turned up the heat.

LeBron James sunk one from beyond the arc to tie the game at 95 a piece with two minutes to go followed by another clutch three from Dennis Schroder with 1.1 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a 98-95 lead. While people might’ve thought this was the moment LA secured the 7-seed in the playoffs, that was not the case as Anthony Davis fouled Mike Conley behind the three-point line with 0.1 seconds to go.

Conley drilled each shot from the charity stripe, and the game was headed to OT.

The Lakers took control in OT, outscoring the Wolves 10-4 to bring the final to 108-102.


Karl-Anthony Towns and Mike Conley led the Wolves in their efforts with a combined 47 points, but it was not enough.

Although this game didn’t end the Timberwolves season, it did send them home for another play-in game. They will host the winner of New Orleans vs. Oklahoma City Friday for a chance at the eighth seed.

Lakers Trending Up?

Despite a rocky game, LA made it out alive behind James and Davis.

James had 30 PTS, 10 REB and 6 ASTS, while Davis had 24 PTS, 15 REB and 4 ASTS.

Schroder also came up big off the bench with 21 to help propel the Lakers in the win.

James spoke on the team’s resiliency and ability to beat the odds and remain contenders despite struggles they faced this season.

Now, the Lakers go on to face the two-seed Memphis Grizzlies.

Prior to the Lakers securing a playoff spot, Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks expressed his feelings about competing against LeBron in the playoffs.


His wish came true.

Lakers vs. Grizzlies in Regular Season

The two teams met three times during the regular season, with the Lakers winning two of them.

LA won the first showdown by a hair, with a final score of 122-121. The Grizzlies retaliated winning 121-109 in the second matchup, and LA took the crown back 112-103 in the third.

Ja Morant put up 22 and 39 points, respectively, in the two games he played against the Lakers this season. He did not play in the third game.

The last time these teams faced each other was March 7.

Playoffs Approaching

The Play-In Tournament will conclude Friday, and the playoffs will begin Saturday.

The Pelicans, Thunder, Raptors and Bulls will compete tonight for the opportunity at another play-in game in hopes of making it to the playoffs.

Each of these times are fighting for the eighth seed in each conference, and the team that secures it in the east will have to face the one-seed Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, while the team that clinches in the west will face the top-seed Denver Nuggets.

The Lakers will travel to Memphis and take on the Grizzlies in game one Sunday at 3 p.m. EST.

About Rachel Rosen

Rachel Rosen is a junior at the University of Florida pursuing a degree in Media Production, Management and Technology. As a camera operator for University of Florida sporting events, she has a passion for live sports production and broadcasting.

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