Lakers PG D’Angelo Russell has lots of love in first return to Minnesota

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For the first time since February’s Timberwolves trade, D’Angelo Russell makes his return to Target Center on Friday night. Since arriving to the Lakers, he’s averaging 18.5 points and 6.2 assists per game while shooting 47.9 percent overall and 40.0 percent from 3-point range. He’s committing just 2.3 turnovers a contest.

Since being traded to the Lakers, Russell has missed eight games, first with a sprained ankle and then with hip soreness. He is good to go Friday night.

KSTP Sports spoke with Russell after Lakers shoot-around Friday morning. He has lots of love for the time he spent in Minnesota and with the Timberwolves.

***Click the video box above to watch Russell answer questions about his return***

Below is a preview of Friday night’s game from the Associated Press. Note that the Wolves will be without center/forward Naz Reid (left wrist injury sustained Wednesday vs. Suns).

Friday’s game is the third meeting of the season between the two teams. The Timberwolves won the last matchup 110-102. Minnesota is 27-21 against the Western Conference, and Los Angeles is 22-24 against conference opponents.

Los Angeles Lakers (38-38, 9th in the Western Conference) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (39-38, 8th in the Western Conference)

Minneapolis; Friday, 7 p.m.

BOTTOM LINE: Minnesota faces Los Angeles in a matchup of Western Conference teams.

The Timberwolves have gone 27-21 against Western Conference teams. Minnesota is eighth in the league with 26.0 assists per game led by Mike Conley averaging 6.8.

The Lakers are 22-24 in Western Conference play. Los Angeles has a 15-19 record in games decided by 10 points or more.

The teams meet for the third time this season. In the last matchup on March 4 the Timberwolves won 110-102 led by 22 points from Rudy Gobert, while Anthony Davis scored 38 points for the Lakers.

TOP PERFORMERS: Anthony Edwards is shooting 45.9% and averaging 24.1 points for the Timberwolves. Conley is averaging 2.5 made 3-pointers over the last 10 games for Minnesota.

Davis is averaging 26.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and two blocks for the Lakers. Austin Reaves is averaging 18.8 points and 6.1 assists over the last 10 games for Los Angeles.

LAST 10 GAMES: Timberwolves: 5-5, averaging 118.2 points, 44.1 rebounds, 29.8 assists, 7.2 steals and 4.4 blocks per game while shooting 49.2% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 118.0 points per game.

Lakers: 6-4, averaging 115.1 points, 42.6 rebounds, 23.8 assists, 7.0 steals and 4.0 blocks per game while shooting 49.1% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 111.2 points.