The King is back in town.
LeBron James and the Lakers return to Target Center tonight after not appearing in Minnesota since Oct. 29, 2018.
How different were things then? The Timberwolves won that contest 124-120 behind 32 points from Jimmy Butler and with Karl-Anthony Towns posting 25 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks. The rest of the lineup featured Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose, Tyus Jones and Gorgui Dieng — Andrew Wiggins was sidelined with an injury.
James scored 29 points for a Lakers squad that started Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball alongside their newly acquired star.
It was only the seventh games James had played since signing with the Lakers in the 2018 offseason.
The Wolves home game with the Lakers last season was set to take place on March 30, 2020 but was canceled due to the coronavirus.
And while the Timberwolves were left outside the NBA bubble in Orlando, the Lakers put together a phenomenal run to win the NBA Finals in six games over Butler and the Miami Heat.
And James won his fourth NBA Finals MVP after averaging 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game.
With a short layoff between the playoffs and the start of the regular season, it would have been expected that James rested and took some time to recuperate at the age of 36 and entering his 18th NBA season.
Instead he has started all 28 games and is averaging 25.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists in 34.6 minutes per game. The only other players who have averaged those kinds of numbers this season? The 21-year-old Luka Doncic with Dallas and the 25-year-old Nikola Jokic with Denver.
It's one reason, along with the Lakers 21-7 record, that James is the current favorite to win the MVP award, which would give him five in his one-of-a-kind career.
When it comes to his career at Target Center, James is 12-4 in 16 games, with averages of 26.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game.