Lakers vs Minnesota: Lakers extend their winning streak against Timberwolves
Lakers 90, Timberwolves 79 (final)
It took some time, but the Lakers finally put the Timberwolves away to notch their fifth straight win.
The Lakers have defeated the Timberwolves 14 straight times, seven consecutive times at the Target Center.
When Kobe Bryant made a 19-foot jumper over Wesley Johnson with 1:03 left for an 86-76 Lakers lead, Minnesota Coach Kurt Rambis called a timeout.
But even Rambis had to know that his team was not going to come back from that deficit.
Bryant finished with 24 points on eight-for-18 shooting.
Pau Gasol had 12 points and 17 rebounds.
Minnesota's Kevin Love extended his double-double streak to 47 games but otherwise did not have a good night, finishing with 13 points on two-for-10 shooting and taking 11 rebounds.
Lakers 65, Timberwolves 61 (end of third quarter)
Kobe Bryant scored 12 points in the third quarter to help the Lakers get back on course.
Pau Gasol had seven points in the third quarter.
Through three quarters, Gasol had 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Kevin Love, the former UCLA star, had his double-double through three quarters with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Timberwolves 45, Lakers 40 (end of first half)
The Lakers looked uninspired in the first half, and it was reflected on the scoreboard. They shot just 30.4% from the field, making only 14 of 46 shots. They allowed the Timberwolves to score 20 points in the paint.
Rookie Wesley Johnson led the Timberwolves with 12 points in the first half.
Andrew Bynum led the Lakers with 10 points, but he picked up three fouls in the first half.
Timberwolves 21, Lakers 18 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers missed their first six shots in the first quarter, not scoring a field goal until Andrew Bynum scored with 7:45 left in the quarter.
Little did the Lakers know that was a sign of things to come. The Lakers shot a cool 22.7% from the field in the first quarter.
Kobe Braynt was just one-for-five in the first quarter and Derek Fisher missed all three of his field goal attempts.
Reporting from Minneapolis
They are two good friends, and yet they want to beat the other.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and Minnesota Coach Kurt Rambis will go at each other from the bench when Los Angeles faces the Timberwolves Tuesday night at the Target Center.
Rambis was on Jackson's staff with the Lakers before becoming the head coach of the Timberwolves two seasons ago.
Jackson was asked if he'd rather not beat Rambis.
"I don't mind it at all," Jackson said, smiling.
Jackson said he won't coach the Lakers any differently just because it's Rambis on the other bench.
- Broderick Turner, reporting from Minneapolis