Golden State (51-16) are two games behind Houston for the top spot in the Western Conference and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs after back-to-back losses. Making matters trickier, Stephen Curry remains sidelined for at least the next four games with an ankle injury. The Warriors were on the wrong end of a 109-103 score line at Minnesota on Sunday as they were unable to slow down Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns as he finished with 31 points.
Kevin Durant had 39 points and 12 rebounds while Klay Thompson added 21 points, but the pair combined to take 54 of Golden State's 91 shots. Zaza Pachulia chipped in 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for his first double-double of the season.
The Lakers (31-36) have won eight of ten since the All-Star break after rallying past the Denver Nuggets 112-103 on Tuesday night. Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle each had 26 points and 13 rebounds, with Kuzma scored 24 of his points in the second half, while Isaiah Thomas added seven of his 23 points off the bench in a game-changing fourth-quarter spurt.
Despite their recent surge, Los Angeles have made little headway in the tough Western Conference and are still 6.5 games behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Lakers are also trying to end a ten-game losing streak at Golden State in which they have been outscored by an average of 19.9 points while giving up 116.9 per contest.