9:30 p.m. at L.A. Lakers • NBATV/FSN, 830-AM
Don’t mistake Lakers for tankers
Preview: The Lakers will not make the playoffs, but make no mistake: They are not tanking. They’re 3-4 in their last seven games after Wednesday’s 122-112 overtime home victory over San Antonio. Lakers rookie forward Kyle Kuzma scored 30 points in that one on a night when young stars Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram did not play. … The Wolves have won the first three meetings between the teams this season. ... The Wolves are 11-7 in the series after they ended the Lakers’ 22-game series winning streak in L.A. on Nov. 10, 2013.
Players to watch: Kuzma is fifth all-time among Lakers rookies in scoring. He has made more three-pointers than any Lakers rookie in team history (159) after making five on Wednesday. … Lakers forward Julius Randle is the only NBA player averaging at least 15 points, 7.5 points and 2.5 assists while shooting 56 percent. An eclectic mix of only 14 players has done the same since 1982, including Denver’s Nikola Jokic, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kevin McHale, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Karl Malone.
Injuries: Wolves G Jimmy Butler was active and available to play Thursday after he missed 16 games (knee). G Jeff Teague returned to the starting lineup (knee). Rookie C Justin Patton did not travel with the team because he is ill. Lakers G Lonzo Ball (knee contusion), F Brandon Ingram (concussion protocol), G Isaiah Thomas (hip surgery) and F Luol Deng (sprained ankle) are all listed as out. C Brook Lopez (back tightness) is questionable.