Lakers Secure No. 7 Seed in NBA Playoffs with Victory over Timberwolves in Play-In Tournament

In a highly anticipated matchup, the Los Angeles Lakers faced off against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA Play-In Tournament on April 11, 2023.[0] The Lakers, who finished the regular season with a record of 3-5, entered the game as heavy favorites against the Timberwolves, who were missing two key players due to injury and suspension.

The Timberwolves' star center, Rudy Gobert, was suspended for the game after punching teammate Kyle Anderson in the chest during the final game of the regular season.[1] Gobert apologized for his actions, but the team felt it had to send a message with a suspension.[1] In addition, defensive ace Jaden McDaniels fractured his right hand when he punched a wall while exiting the game and was unable to play in the Play-In matchup.[2]

Despite the absences of Gobert and McDaniels, the Timberwolves took an early lead in the game, thanks to a blistering start from the 3-point line, draining 5-of-9 from deep.[3] The Lakers struggled to keep up, but ultimately pulled away in the second half, winning the game 115-99.

The Lakers' victory was due in large part to the team's recent hot streak, winning nine of their final 11 regular-season games and going 18-8 since the trade deadline. The team's deadline additions, including D'Angelo Russell, Jared Vanderbilt, and Rui Hachimura, have helped propel the Lakers to one of the NBA's hottest teams.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves have been inconsistent throughout the season, running hot and cold. They won their last three games just to earn their way into the Play-In Tournament, but lost three straight prior. Prior to that, they had lost three games and then went on to win four consecutive games. With the absence of key players and recent internal conflicts, the Timberwolves were unable to keep up with a talented Lakers team.

The winner of the Lakers vs. Timberwolves matchup secured the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and faced the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the postseason.[4] The loser played Friday against either the New Orleans Pelicans or Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 8 seed.[4]

The NBA Play-In Tournament, introduced in the 2021 season, features the seventh through tenth ranked teams in each conference facing off for a chance to secure a playoff spot.[5]

0. “Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Lakers vs. Timberwolves Showdown on Apri…” DraftKings Nation, 11 Apr. 2023,

1. “Warriors make top six, Lakers head to play-in as West playoffs set” NBC Sports, 10 Apr. 2023,

2. “Timberwolves Vs. Lakers Live Stream: Watch NBA Play-In Game Online, On TV” NESN, 11 Apr. 2023,

3. “Timberwolves vs. Lakers live NBA Play-In updates: Score, highlights and analysis” The Athletic, 12 Apr. 2023,

4. “Minnesota Timberwolves vs Los Angeles Lakers Apr 11, 2023 Game Summary”, 11 Apr. 2023,

5. “Timberwolves-Lakers play-in game: Everything you need to know” CBS News, 11 Apr. 2023,

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