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Heavy-hearted Russell hits 3 to lead Lakers past T'wolves

LOS ANGELES (AP) D'Angelo Russell wasn't expecting to play Sunday after the death of his grandmother. The Los Angeles Lakers point guard changed his mind as headed to the arena.

He ended up paying the perfect tribute.

Russell made a 3-pointer as time expired and the Lakers overcame a huge game by Karl-Anthony Towns and stunned the Minnesota Timberwolves 110-109 on Sunday night.

''I just wanted to win,'' said Russell, who had 16 points. ''Win the game and winning shot, it's just God putting the cherry on top. The win would have been good enough.''

Julius Randle was able to rebound Metta World Peace's missed 3-pointer and find Russell for a second chance. Russell's shot hit the rim, bounced high up into the air and down through the net, sending the second-year guard sprinting into the crowd trying to find his family.

Russell couldn't locate them, but his basketball family engulfed him in celebration.

''You could tell he was hurting,'' Lakers coach Luke Walton said. ''I could tell it was painful for him, and it wasn't easy to talk about, but you could see how much love he had for her when he was speaking about it, which was kind of awesome to see.''

Tyler Ennis, who had a career-high 20 points off the bench for Los Angeles, which won a season-high fourth consecutive game, didn't even know about the death of Russell's grandmother until afterward.

''He was encouraging, and as he was playing, I didn't notice it,'' Ennis said. ''I thought he did a good job of locking in. It was a tough, tough day for him. Hopefully it could brighten his day a little bit.''

The Lakers had to overcome massive outbursts from Towns, who had 40 points on 17-of-22 shooting from the floor and grabbed 21 rebounds, and Andrew Wiggins, who scored 41 points, to hand Minnesota its fourth straight defeat.

Only four Minnesota players had scored before Omri Casspi made a layup with 6:43 remaining, while six Lakers finished with double figures.

''You get what you deserve, though,'' Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. ''We didn't rebound the ball at the end.''

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad were the only other Minnesota players to score in the first half, as the seven Timberwolves not named Towns and Wiggins were a combined 3 of 18 from the field. ... Towns had his third straight double-double by halftime with 25 points and 11 rebounds.

Lakers: Demonstrating consistent effort on defense has been a learning process for Los Angeles' young roster, but it showed up here and led to easy offense. The Lakers outscored the Timberwolves 27-16 on fast-break points, including a 16-2 edge in the first half.

DRAFT DRAMA

Los Angeles now has the third-worst record in the NBA, moving one game ahead of Phoenix in the win column, and leaving them with just under a 50-50 chance in the upcoming draft lottery to retain their top three selection.

If the Lakers' draft pick falls outside the top three, they lose it to Philadelphia, while Orlando would receive their 2019 first-round pick from the Dwight Howard trade.

NO REPEAT FOR RUBIO

After torching the Lakers for 33 points in their last meeting, setting season highs with 12 made field goals and 20 attempts from the field, Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio was a decided non-factor. Rubio's only bucket was a layup with 2:50 remaining, having missed his first eight shots.

Rubio finished with two points and 11 assists.

FAREWELL WORLD PEACE?

Walton has seen the entire arc of World Peace's unlikely transformation from the superstar at the center of a near-riot to NBA champion, respected elder statesman and veteran presence. If World Peace is coming toward the end of his time with the Lakers or his 16-year career as a whole, Walton will make sure World Peace gets his due in the team's home finale Tuesday.

''We want to reward Metta every chance we get for how great he's been this year with the way he's worked and the way he's helped the young guys and just being positive,'' Walton said before Sunday's game. ''He'll get his standing O on Tuesday night whether it is his last game here or not.''

World Peace, who has spent six seasons with the Lakers across two different stints and was part of the 2009-10 title-winning team, has not announced whether he intends to retire or continue playing.

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Host Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Minnesota has conceded just one triple-double to Russell Westbrook in three meetings this season, and it came in the Timberwolves' lone win over the Thunder on Jan. 13. Westbrook had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in Minnesota's 96-86 win, offset by 10 turnovers.

Lakers: Host New Orleans on Tuesday.

Copyright 2017 by Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
K. Towns
32 C
J. Randle
30 PF
30.0 Min. Per Game 30.0
13.6 Pts. Per Game 13.6
3.9 Ast. Per Game 3.9
9.0 Reb. Per Game 9.0
52.2 Field Goal % 48.5
48.3 Three Point % 47.0
83.0 Free Throw % 73.8
+ 3 D'Angelo Russell made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Julius Randle 0:01
  Offensive rebound by Julius Randle 0:06
  Metta World Peace missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:08
  Defensive rebound by D'Angelo Russell 0:13
  Ricky Rubio missed layup, blocked by Larry Nance Jr. 0:15
  Defensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns 0:32
  Julius Randle missed free throw 0:32
  Personal foul on Karl-Anthony Towns 0:32
+ 2 Julius Randle made driving dunk, assist by Jordan Clarkson 0:32
  Full timeout called 0:34
+ 2 Andrew Wiggins made driving layup 0:33
Points 109 110
Field Goals 40-81 (49.4%) 42-86 (48.8%)
3-Pointers 3-16 (18.8%) 10-27 (37.0%)
Free Throws 26-31 (83.9%) 16-20 (80.0%)
Total Rebounds 50 44
Offensive 8 12
Defensive 33 28
Team 9 4
Assists 27 26
Steals 8 10
Blocks 6 8
Turnovers 15 16
Fouls 16 23
Technicals 0 0
away team logo
K. Towns C 32
40 PTS, 21 REB, 4 AST
home team logo
L. Nance Jr. PF 7
10 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST
1234T
away team logo Timberwolves 31-49 21302830109
home team logo Lakers 25-5529242532110
Team Stats
away team logoTimberwolves 31-49 PPG RPG APG
home team logoLakers 25-55 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
A. Wiggins SF 17.3 PPG 3.0 RPG 0.5 APG 37.7 FG%
T. Ennis PG PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
A. Wiggins SF 41 PTS 2 REB 1 AST
T. Ennis PG 20 PTS 2 REB 5 AST
49.4 FG% 48.8
18.8 3PT FG% 37.0
83.9 FT% 80.0
Timberwolves
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Wiggins 38 41 2 1 0 0 2 2 13/26 2/5 13/14 1 1 43 +2
K. Towns 41 40 21 4 1 1 3 3 17/22 1/2 5/8 3 18 68 +6
G. Dieng 37 12 7 4 1 3 1 2 4/6 0/0 4/4 2 5 30 +3
R. Rubio 33 2 3 11 3 0 4 4 1/10 0/2 0/0 0 3 26 +10
B. Rush 30 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 0 0 +8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Wiggins 38 41 2 1 0 0 2 2 13/26 2/5 13/14 1 1 43 +2
K. Towns 41 40 21 4 1 1 3 3 17/22 1/2 5/8 3 18 68 +6
G. Dieng 37 12 7 4 1 3 1 2 4/6 0/0 4/4 2 5 30 +3
R. Rubio 33 2 3 11 3 0 4 4 1/10 0/2 0/0 0 3 26 +10
B. Rush 30 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 0 0 +8
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
S. Muhammad 18 12 2 0 0 0 2 0 4/9 0/4 4/5 1 1 12 -9
O. Casspi 17 2 0 1 2 1 0 1 1/4 0/1 0/0 0 0 7 -11
K. Dunn 15 0 4 3 0 0 1 3 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 3 9 -11
T. Jones 10 0 2 3 1 0 0 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 2 9 -3
N. Pekovic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hill - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Aldrich - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Bjelica - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. LaVine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Payne - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 239 109 41 27 8 6 15 16 40/81 3/16 26/31 8 33 204 -5
Lakers
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Clarkson 31 17 4 3 0 0 2 2 7/13 1/4 2/2 0 4 25 -1
D. Russell 34 16 4 4 3 0 5 2 6/19 2/8 2/2 1 3 26 -2
J. Randle 28 13 8 2 1 1 2 3 5/9 0/2 3/5 3 5 25 -5
L. Nance Jr. 34 10 10 6 1 2 2 3 5/7 0/1 0/0 6 4 33 -5
B. Ingram 30 10 2 1 2 1 2 4 3/10 1/1 3/5 2 0 15 -7
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Clarkson 31 17 4 3 0 0 2 2 7/13 1/4 2/2 0 4 25 -1
D. Russell 34 16 4 4 3 0 5 2 6/19 2/8 2/2 1 3 26 -2
J. Randle 28 13 8 2 1 1 2 3 5/9 0/2 3/5 3 5 25 -5
L. Nance Jr. 34 10 10 6 1 2 2 3 5/7 0/1 0/0 6 4 33 -5
B. Ingram 30 10 2 1 2 1 2 4 3/10 1/1 3/5 2 0 15 -7
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Ennis 23 20 2 5 0 1 0 3 7/9 4/5 2/2 0 2 33 +6
M. World Peace 11 8 1 1 1 0 0 0 3/8 2/5 0/0 0 1 12 -1
T. Robinson 18 7 7 1 0 0 3 3 3/6 0/0 1/1 0 7 13 +9
T. Black 17 7 2 0 2 3 0 2 2/3 0/0 3/3 0 2 14 +3
C. Brewer 15 2 0 3 0 0 0 1 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 0 8 +8
N. Young - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Mozgov - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Zubac - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Nwaba - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Deng - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 241 110 40 26 10 8 16 23 42/86 10/27 16/20 12 28 204 +5