Lakers Coach Luke Walton looked over to Julius Randle, lined up at the Target Center, ready to do some extra shooting after practice.
"Julius, you want us to put Zu on Towns tomorrow?" Walton said, teasing the Lakers power forward about having rookie center Ivica Zubac take the defensive assignment on Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns.
"He scored two buckets on me," Randle said, protesting the idea. "What are you talking about?"
On Friday, the Lakers notched their second win in March. They beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, and overcame their two stars, Towns and forward Andrew Wiggins. Towns offers the Lakers a chance to learn a lot about their young group of big men — Randle, Larry Nance Jr., Tarik Black and Zubac.
They'll face the Timberwolves again Thursday.
"That's the thing with how many young players we have," Walton said. "We want to see all of them on him. So at times tomorrow you're going to see Julius, you're going to see Zu on him. You're going to see Larry on him, T-Black on him. They'll all have their opportunities to try to stop him."
In their first meeting, Randle started on Towns. Towns made three of five shots in the first quarter. He finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds in the Lakers' overtime win.
"Our guys did a good job of fighting," Walton said. "The first time I thought besides the first post-up of the game, all of our bigs did a really good job of making him work to catch the ball."
For Randle the matchup with Towns takes on a little more personal meaning. They were high school stars around the same time, and faced each other quite a bit because of that. Both went to Kentucky, but in different years.
"I don't really compare myself to anybody," Randle said. "I feel like we're two different players. Just one of those things where you grew up playing with guys, you want to see how good guys have gotten."
He says now he doesn't have to vocalize his desire for such challenges.
"Over the course of the year spending time with me, he knows me," Randle said of Walton. "He understands that I want the challenge. I don't have to ask."
Brandon Ingram is questionable
Brandon Ingram is officially listed as questionable on the Lakers injury report, but Walton leaned closer to doubtful for his rookie forward.
"We'll see how he feels tomorrow," Walton said Wednesday afternoon. "It has to do with when he works out now, how does he feel in three hours. We'll see how he's doing later tonight. He'll get treatment again. See how he does in the morning."
Ingram has sat out the Lakers' last two games because of knee tendinitis. They were the first two games he sat out all season. Ingram has been one of the most-used rookies league-wide this year.
The Lakers started Corey Brewer in Ingram's place for the two games he missed.
Ingram was averaging nine points per game before the injury. He scored in the double digits in the last 10 games in which he played.
When: 5 p.m. PDT Thursday.
Where: Target Center.
On the air: TV: Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.
Records: Lakers 21-53; Timberwolves 29-44.
Record vs. Timberwolves: 1-1.
Update: The last time the Lakers played in Minnesota, Andrew Wiggins scored more than 40 points against them. Thursday's game is the second in three games these two teams will have faced each other within a nine-game span.