Brandon Ingram thrives in return as Lakers drop close game to Timberwolves

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TuAnh Dam
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When two drama-filled basketball teams meet, there’s bound to be some … drama.

That’s exactly what happened when the Los Angeles Lakers played the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

Brandon Ingram’s return

Ingram called it first, hours before tipoff against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Coming back from a four-game suspension for his part in a Lakers-Houston Rockets brawl, Ingram told reporters he didn’t know what the lineup would be except he knew that he wouldn’t be coming off the bench against the Timberwolves.

He ended up starting alongside Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, JaVale McGee and LeBron James.

Brandon Ingram returned from a four-game suspension Monday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Brandon Ingram returned from a four-game suspension Monday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

There wasn’t any rust for the forward.

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Foul trouble limited Ingram’s minutes, but he still managed to stuff the stat sheet with 24 points, five rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes.

LeBron isn’t surprised

James did his own forecasting before the game, telling reporters exactly why having Ingram back was a big deal for the Lakers.

“There’s not that many guys with that length,” James said. “You look at [Kevin Durant], Giannis [Antetokounmpo], himself, those guys with those long arms [that] guard multiple positions. Handle the ball. Rebound, pass, shoot. So it’s good to have him back.”

Jordan teased the GOAT debate between quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but James assumed the comparisons were about them.
Jordan teased the GOAT debate between quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but James assumed the comparisons were about them.

James did all of that against Minnesota, but he also had a costly turnover with 1:42 remaining as the Lakers were trying to mount a comeback.

Jimmy Butler: Hero or villain?

Butler’s a little bit of both as far as Timberwolves fans are concerned, but it was a hero kind of performance for him Monday night.

Jimmy Butler had a game-high 32 points for the Timberwolves, shooting 6-7 from three-point range.. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler had a game-high 32 points for the Timberwolves, shooting 6-7 from three-point range.. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

He had a game-high 32 points, none bigger than a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to five with less than 20 seconds to go. Butler finished 6 of 7 from 3-point range – not Klay Thompson’s record-breaking performance, but not too shabby either.

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Charity stripe

The Timberwolves won a close 124-120 game and part of it was because of their free throws. They got to the line 30 times compared to 15 for the Lakers and made 26 of their attempts.

Karl-Anthony Towns sealed the game with two free throws late in the game. Minnesota made it to the free throw line 30 times against the Lakers.
Karl-Anthony Towns sealed the game with two free throws late in the game. Minnesota made it to the free throw line 30 times against the Lakers.

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