LOS ANGELES – Naz Reid didn't dance around the question. He didn't play coy, or give a typically canned response when asked about making a push in the final weeks of the season for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award.

After Reid put up 31 points and 11 rebounds in the Timberwolves' 127-117 victory over the Lakers on Sunday night, the first game he went for at least 30 and 10 in his career, Reid gave an impassioned answer, more than he has at any point this season, what he thinks of that award.

"That's something that I want. I'm hungry for it," Reid said. "I want that. I think the impact, the record has shown it, our standing has shown it. I want it bad. I'm hungry for it."

Reid put his best foot forward at the best possible time. He had one of his best game of the season on NBA TV against one of the league's marquee franchises during a time of night when no other NBA games were happening. It helped erase the memory of an eight-point, five-turnover performance two nights ago against the Suns.

As the season heads into its final week, Reid is making his push for the Sixth Man award while in the starting lineup for the injured Karl-Anthony Towns, who was getting some shots up and a light workout in at the end of Wolves shootaround earlier Sunday.

But what is a sixth man if not a capable starter-in-wait if one of the regulars goes down?

"I think it's obvious that Naz Reid is the Sixth Man of the Year," Anthony Edwards said, noting the Wolves returned to the top spot in the Western Conference with the victory with four games left. "We're the No. 1 team in the West. He's had multiple 30-point games. He's the reason we're winning. He's a big reason why. KAT went down a little minute ago and we've still been able to win, it's because of Naz."

Sunday's matchup appeared to get easier when the Lakers announced LeBron James would miss the game because of flulike symptoms.

And then it appeared to become even easier after that when Anthony Davis left in the first quarter because of an eye injury and didn't return. It was basically the reverse of what happened the last time the teams met on March 10, when the Wolves were down Towns, Rudy Gobert and Kyle Anderson.

Reid helped the Wolves take advantage of Davis' absence in the second quarter. That's when he erupted for 18 points. For the night, he finished 12-for-16 and 6-for-8 from three-point range.

"He's changing every game for us," said Gobert, who had 18 points and 16 rebounds. "Having an impact every night and now that we have KAT injured, he's able to, even though KAT is a unique player, Naz has been able to, kind of like, take advantage of that and really impact every game for us and dominate. To me that's what a sixth man does. He gives you that extra boost, that extra lift and Naz has been doing it all year."

BOXSCORE: Wolves 127, L.A. Lakers 117

NBA standings

Coach Chris Finch said Reid did a good job of staying "shot ready" as Edwards drew a crowd on offense. Finch said Edwards made just about every right play that he should have. Edwards took over the scoring late in the third quarter when the Lakers cut a 20-point Wolves lead down to four. Edwards made sure Los Angeles didn't complete the comeback. Rui Hachimura led the Lakers with 30 points.

"I passed enough. Now it's time to score," Edwards said of what he was thinking at that point in the game. "Finchy drew up two or three plays in a row — all right, it's time to score now.

Edwards had seven points toward the end of the third on his way to finishing with 26 points and eight assists. The rest of the night he was just fine setting up Reid.

"Keep giving it to him," Edwards said. "Every play down the court. At that point, he just can't miss."

Reid had 25 points in the teams' previous meeting at Crypto.com Arena. After the game, he was asked if there was something he relished about playing the Lakers or playing in this venue with its trademark theater-style lighting.

"I just stand out in the light," Reid said. "I don't know. I just go out there and compete each and every time I get a chance to play. It just happened to be on TV."

Note: Mike Conley played Sunday after flying from Phoenix to Memphis to attend the jersey retirement ceremony for former Grizzlies teammate Marc Gasol on Saturday. Conley landed early in the morning in Los Angeles and finished with seven points and six assists.