(SportsNetwork.com) - The two worst teams in the Western Conference duke it out Wednesday night when the Los Angeles Lakers travel to the Target Center to face the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Lakers are 2 1/2 games better than the young T-wolves this season. In the race for the most ping-pong balls in the NBA draft lottery, Minnesota owns the second-worst mark behind the New York Knicks and the Lakers have the fourth- worst record with the Philadelphia 76ers mixed in.
The T-wolves won last time out with a 106-104 overtime victory in Salt Lake City over the Utah Jazz Monday. It was Minnesota's second consecutive road win, but it has lost two in a row as the host.
Zach LaVine had 27 points, including a game-tying 3-pointer with 12.2 seconds left in regulation. Andrew Wiggins posted 22 points and seven rebounds for the Wolves.
"It just shows everyone is on this team for a reason. We all go out there to produce. We all got heart," LaVine said.
After LaVine turned the ball over, Utah's Trey Burke was off the mark on a potential go-ahead 3 from the left wing. Gorgui Dieng made 1-of-2 from the line and Burke sunk two at the other end with 11.2 ticks on the clock, getting Utah within 103-102.
Sean Kilpatrick hit two bonus shots and Burke answered with a layup. LaVine then sunk one from the charity stripe with 4.6 seconds left and Burke's deep pull-up left wing 3 at the buzzer ricocheted off the glass.
The Timberwolves visit the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans, starting Friday.
After a win on Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers fell back into the loss column with a 127-117 setback to the Oklahoma City Thunder in OKC on Tuesday.
Rookie Jordan Clarkson stuffed the stat sheet with 30 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three blocks for the Lakers, who are 2-10 in March and lost five in a row as the visitor.
"They have a lot of weapons," said Clarkson. "They're a really good team. We competed, we just didn't have it in the end."
The Lakers were without head coach Byron Scott, who is home with his family grieving the death of his mother. Paul Pressey assumed the coaching duties and immediately inserted Jeremy Lin into the starting lineup after he spent the previous 25 games coming off the bench.
Lin had 19 points and seven assists, and Ryan Kelly and Wayne Ellington scored 16 and 15, respectively, in the loss.
Scott won't be with the team on Wednesday.
The Lakers still have stops in Toronto, Brooklyn and Philadelphia on this trip.
The two teams split two meetings this season, with the visitor winning each time. They will battle on April 10 in LA.