Lakers vs. Minnesota: Lakers win despite lackluster effort
Lakers 99, Timberwolves 94 (final)
The Lakers improved to 8-0, their best start since the 1987-88 season, when they began that season with the same record.
But it wasn't an easy victory over a Minnesota team that now is 1-7 under Coach Kurt Rambis, the former Lakers assistant.
It took 33 points from Kobe Bryant and 18 points and 10 rebounds from Pau Gasol for the Lakers to get the victory.
The Lakers were outrebounded, 54-42, by the Timberwolves.
Kevin Love, the former UCLA Bruin, kept Minnesota in the game with a double-double, scoring 23 points and grabbing a career-high 24 rebounds.
Michael Beasley had 17 points for Minnesota.
Lakers 82, Timberwolves 74 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers didn't play that well, but it was good enough for them to open an eight-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Lakers were getting outrebounded, 41-35, through three quarters.
Kevin Love had 17 rebounds for Minnesota to go along with 19 points.
Ron Artest and Lamar Odom both picked up their fourth fouls in the third, which didn't help the Lakers.
Lakers 58, Timberwolves 52 (end of first half)
It was the Kobe Bryant Show in the second quarter.
Bryant had 13 points in the second quarter, including the last eight points for the Lakers.
By the half, Bryant had scored 23 points on nine-for-15 shooting. He also had six rebounds.
The Timberwolves stayed within six points because Kevin Love, the former UCLA star, had 12 points and 11 rebounds in the first half and Michael Beasley had 12 points.
Timberwolves 28, Lakers 26 (end of first quarter)
It was hard to believe, but the Lakers actually trailed the Timberwolves by two points at the end of the first quarter Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Sebastian Telfair led Minnesota with six points and three assists.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 11 points on four-for-eight shooting. He also had five rebounds.
The Lakers allowed the Timberwolves to make 47.8% of their shots in the first quarter, including all five of their three-point tries.
The Lakers shot just 40.7%.
His old friend and former assistant coach was in town Tuesday night, coming in with a Minnesota Timberwolves team that has struggled this season.
When Lakers Coach Phil Jackson got together with Minnesota Coach Kurt Rambis, Jackson offered words of encouragement.
The Timberwolves were 1-6 entering the game against the 7-0 Lakers a Staples Center.
"You have to move past games in situations where things are (in) dire circumstances," Jackson said he told Rambis. "You just have to move by it."
Even though the Lakers are undefeated, Jackson said he wouldn't call it a fast start.
"I would say 10-0 is a fast start," Jackson said. "Right now we're happy where we're at and we want to keep plugging away."
-- Broderick Turner