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Lakers dominate in overtime to defeat the Timberwolves, 130-119

Lakers dominate in overtime to defeat the Timberwolves, 130-119
Lakers forward Julius Randle, center, and guard David Nwaba, right, chase after a loose alongside Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio during the first half Friday. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press) (Mark J. Terrill / AP)

On a day the franchise celebrated one of the greatest players in its history, the Lakers' current players looked tired of losing.

They beat Minnesota, 130-119, in overtime Friday night at Staples Center, handing the Timberwolves their fifth loss in a row.

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Jordan Clarkson set career highs in points (35) and three-pointers made (eight). He scored 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers recovered from a 15-point deficit to send the game in to overtime.

Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins led all scorers with 36 points. Karl Anthony Towns scored 25 for Minnesota ,while Julius Randle added 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers.

At 21-51, the Lakers are inching closer to the Phoenix Suns, who are 22-51 and have the third-worst record in the NBA.

The lower the Lakers are in the standings at season's end, the better their chances of keeping their first first-round pick. If that pick drops out of the top three, the Lakers must surrender it to the Philadelphia 76ers.

All of that served as a backdrop to Friday's game. So did the dedication of Shaquille O'Neal's statue outside the arena earlier in the afternoon.

After the pomp and circumstances dissipated, Friday's game showcased a group of players who had lost 14 of their prior 15 games — including their last six — and who just wanted a win.

The Lakers put together a 10-3 run early in the fourth quarter to tie the Timberwolves at 93.

Minnesota tried to pull away, taking a 108-100 lead, but D'Angelo Russell and Clarkson both hit three-pointers — Clarkson while being fouled —to make it a one-point game. Randle's left-handed bank shot gave the Lakers a one-point lead.

The Timberwolves had a chance to back the lead, but Wiggins made only one of two free throws, leaving the game tied as time expired.

The Lakers opened overtime on a 12-3 run, punctuated by Randle's put-back dunk. Minnesota couldn't punch back.

Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli

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