The Los Angeles Lakers snapped a four-game road losing streak with a win in Minnesota tonight. The purple and gold built up an 18-point lead midway through the third quarter, only to see the Timberwolves claw back into the game and turn it into a dog fight. Minnesota crashed the offensive glass all night and briefly took a one point lead with just over three minutes remaining on a Martell Webster three-pointer. The Lakers, who have struggled all year with late game execution, worked the offense through their big three of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum, putting together a 12-2 run to close the game out.
The Lakers trio of stars were simply too much for the Timberwolves to handle, scoring 84 of the team's 106 points. Kobe Bryant led the way with 35 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 three-pointers, setting the franchise record for most field goals made. Gasol and Bynum contributed with 28 and 21 points respectively. Andrew Goudelock once again was the main contributor off the bench, chipping in 7 points.
The Timberwolves struggled to make shots all night. They finished shooting only 38.6% from the field, 23.8% from behind the arc, and 69.6% from the line. They were able to make a comeback because of their relentless work on the offensive glass. The Timberwolves collected 24 offensive rebounds, led by Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic who each grabbed 7, matching the total of the entire Lakers team. Ricky Rubio orchestrated the offense efficiently with 8 assists and no turnovers. The combination of offensive rebounds and fewer turnovers led to the Wolves taking 25 more field goal attempts than the Lakers. Unfortunately for the young Minnesota squad, they were unable to stop the Lakers premier talent and their losing streak against the Lakers is now 16 straight games and counting.