Exhibition final score: Timberwolves 111, Lakers 92
Kobe Bryant made a brief appearance, and that was all.
Making a slow and gradual comeback from off-season knee surgery, Bryant started the game but played only six minutes and was scoreless in the Lakers' 111-92 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in an exhibition opener Monday at O2 Arena.
He missed all three of his shots, including two three-point attempts, and was replaced by Sasha Vujacic. Bryant had two assists and a rebound.
He remained on the bench, by design, despite a handful of "Kobe, Kobe" chants in the second half.
Lamar Odom, on the other hand, looked as fit as advertised, finishing with 17 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes. His numbers would have been better had he not missed all three of his three-point attempts and gone five for 11 from the free-throw line.
In fact, the Lakers as a whole were dreadful from the line, making only 18 of 33 (54.5%).
The Lakers led at halftime, 56-55, but dropped from there. The Timberwolves outscored the Lakers in the third quarter, 32-18, and made an impressive eight of 12 (66.7%) from three-point range in the game.
Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley, acquired in an off-season trade with Miami, had 21 points.
Pau Gasol battled foul trouble and was generally unimpressive, scoring seven points in 22 minutes. He made only three of seven free-throw attmpts and had five fouls.
Shannon Brown delighted the crowd with a dunk not long after entering the game and finished with 13 points in 25 minutes.
The Lakers play FC Barcelona on Thursday in Spain.
--Mike Bresnahan, reporting from London
Photo: Kobe Bryant takes the ball past Minnesota's Wesley Johnson. Credit: Dylan Martinez, Reuters.