For the second time in nine days, the top-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves play host to the Los Angeles Lakers. They won last week, 118-111. This time, though, they also hope to spoil LeBron James’s birthday.

Catch the game tomorrow at 9:00 AM, Manila time.

AWAY: Los Angeles Lakers (17-15, 6-11 AWAY)

Projected starting five:

  • D’Angelo Russell
  • Cam Reddish
  • Taurean Prince
  • LeBron James (day-to-day) / Rui Hachimura
  • Anthony Davis

The Lakers are coming off a 133-112 win over the Charlotte Hornets, but they are trending downwards since winning the In-Season Tournament, going just 3-6 since. They average 118.6 points per game with a -2.4 net rating over that span.

The would-be 39-year-old LeBron James (25.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.4 SPG) hopes to perform well on his birthday, but he’ll be a game-time decision. Anthony Davis figures to have a big night should James sit, not that he’s not doing it even if his co-star is present. The big man is having another fine campaign, putting up 24.9 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.5 blocks per game on 54.8% shooting. He also had 31 in last week’s defeat to Minny.

D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura will be right behind Davis for scoring support. Look for them to have a prolific night in James’s probable absence. Reaves recently stuffed the statsheet off the bench against the T-Wolves: 20 points, eight boards, five dimes, and two steals.


HOME: Minnesota Timberwolves (23-7, 13-1 HOME)

Projected starting five:

  • Mike Conley
  • Anthony Edwards
  • Jaden McDaniels
  • Karl-Anthony Towns
  • Rudy Gobert

Three of the Timberwolves’ seven losses on the season came over their last nine games, which is a bit off the pace they started. However, this is still a very confident and capable bunch, particularly for tomorrow, considering they’ve already beaten the Lakers just nine days ago.

The starters shined for Minny in last week’s win over LA as all reached double-figures. Anthony Edwards (27 pts, 5 ast, 3 stls) and Karl-Anthony Towns (21 pts) both had 20-plus points, Rudy Gobert (15 pts, 13 rebs, 3 blks) supplied his usual double-double and defense, and veteran Mike Conley (16 pts, 8 ast) did his thing in manning the point. They are all doused with confidence to do that again.

Further, aside from having the best record in the West, Minnesota also allows the fewest points per game (107.4) and the highest defensive rating.

Handicap: The T-Wolves (-3.5) win and cover the spread.

Over/Under: The total goes over 225.