LAS VEGAS, Sporting Alert – The NBA No.1 overall draft pick Karl Anthony-Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves got the better of the Los Angeles Lakers and its No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell in a Summer League game on Friday night.
Anthony-Towns finished with 12 points in his 32 minutes of action in his Summer League debut, but it was Zach LaVine who provided most of the spark for the Timberwolves after scoring a game-high 24 points to go along with his 6 rebounds and 3 assists in his team’s 81-68 victory.
“I started out like any other rookie,” Anthony-Towns said. “I ain’t going to lie: I had a lot of butterflies, I was very nervous, the legs felt heavy.
“It’s your first game out in front of everyone.”
“I didn’t even want to shoot the basketball,” he added. “It was just rookie jitters.
“I’m not going to be perfect. Just because I’m the No. 1 pick, doesn’t mean I’m going to be perfect.
Lorenzo Brown added 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals and Othyus Jeffers finished with 14 points for Minnesota.
Former Missouri guard Jordan Clarkson paced the Los Angeles Lakers with 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field.
Ex-Kentucky forward Julius Randle, who is healthy again after missing the NBA season last year with a broken foot, played 21-minutes and scored 11 points, while Russell ended with 8 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals in the defeat for the Lakers.
Center Tarik Black had 9 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles (0-1), which shot 40-percent from the floor on 24-of-60 shooting, while going just 5-of-17 from three-point range.
Adreian Payne contributed 10 points and 9 rebounds in the win for Minnesota (1-0), who were 45-percent from the field.
The Los Angeles Lakers led by four early in the second quarter but the Timberwolves went on a run to take a 41-35 lead late in the stanza, which they carried into the halftime break.
After the break, Clarkson scored 9 points in the quarter and the Lakers rallied to knock up the scores at 56-56.
Los Angeles then edged ahead 59-56 with just over seven minutes remaining, before Minnesota responded with a 15-3 run to dominate the four quarter 25-13 and win the contest in front of a large crowd, which came to watch the NBA draft’s top two picks and future NBA stars.