LeBron James could also shoulder a larger playmaking load.
The Timberwolves, who entered 19th in the National Basketball Association in 3-pointers made at 10.3 per game, went 20-for-40 from beyond the arc.
Chandler, 36, will be a backup to starting center JaVale McGee for the Lakers, who are desperate for an infusion of size and defensive rebounding.
The Los Angeles Lakers are still piecing things together in this first season with LeBron James on the roster.
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It was the hosts that took the game to their opponents, and they were lucky to still be on level terms before half-time. Welbeck may have suffered a "career ending" injury, according to medical expert Johnny Wilson.
LeBron James had 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Kyle Kuzma scored six of his 21 points in the final minutes of the Lakers' 114-110 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"When you're homegrown and going to high school here, now you have the same fans and you represent the jersey everybody has been cheering for their entire lives, you kind of become one".
Chandler's presence had an immediate impact for the Lakers as he pulled down eight rebounds in a little under 23 minutes. And Chandler didn't disappoint, hauling in nine rebounds. "It's fantastic. I haven't played with a closer like that since Dirk".
Josh Hart scored 21 points and Brandon Ingram added 20 for the Lakers, who avenged a loss at Minnesota nine days earlier with a tenacious finish at Staples Center.
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In more ways than one, the addition of James has opened doors for the Lakers.
"We have options to go to if he is out or later in the season if people get hurt, we have guys we're very confident can play that point guard position for us", Walton said. Derrick Rose has a strong performance as he scores 31 points, but can't hit a critical shot late. Jimmy Butler added 24 for the Timberwolves, who lost their fourth straight and remain winless on the road. His availability for Saturday's game against the Sacramento Kings is now unclear.
Thibodeau said Butler, who has requested a trade, is still trying to get in game shape.
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