GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Minnesota Timberwolves 28 24 22 20 94
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 26 32 24 17 99


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Lakers hold off Timberwolves, improve to 8-0

By GREG BEACHAM

LOS ANGELES(AP) Kobe Bryant scored 33 points, Pau Gasol added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers improved to 8-0 for just the third time in franchise history with a 99-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Lamar Odom overcame foul trouble and scored two important late baskets to finish with 15 points for the Lakers, who matched the 1987-88 team for the second-best start in club history. Only the 1997-98 Lakers were better, starting 11-0.

Yet the Lakers never pulled away from the rebuilding Timberwolves, who lost their sixth straight. Kevin Love had 23 points and a career-high 24 rebounds for Minnesota, which lost its 12th straight to the Lakers despite getting within two points in the final minutes.

Love, the one-season UCLA star, finished two points shy of his career high while battling with Ron Artest, who scored 13 points.

Michael Beasley scored 17 points for the Wolves, and Sebastian Telfair had 13 points and nine assists while starting in place of injured point guards Luke Ridnour and Jonny Flynn. Despite 27 turnovers and 38-percent shooting, Minnesota stayed right with the two-time defending champions all night at Staples Center, hitting eight 3-pointers - three by Telfair, the former Clippers guard.

The Lakers' scoring depth again smoothed out the flaws in an otherwise listless effort. After playing less than 25 minutes in Los Angeles' weekend victory over Portland, Bryant attempted to make up for Gasol's ineffectiveness and Odom's foul trouble, forcing his offensive game into the middle of Minnesota's defense for most of his 34 minutes.

The Lakers led just 89-87 after Odom's turnover led to a thunderous breakaway dunk by Corey Brewer with 5:43 to play, but Odom calmly hit a 3-pointer on the next possession and a layup with 2:39 left.

Beasley's three-point play cut the Lakers' lead to 98-94 with 36 seconds left, but the Timberwolves couldn't convert two chances to get closer.

Los Angeles and New Orleans (7-0) are the NBA's only remaining unbeaten teams. The Lakers get their stiffest test yet in Denver on Thursday night.

Two nights after thrashing a solid Portland team, the Lakers came out with the same sloppy perimeter defense and curious shot selection as last week's narrow win over lowly Toronto. Bryant went 9 for 15 in the first half, converting a late three-point play to put the Lakers up 58-52 at halftime.

The Lakers just couldn't shake the Wolves: After Gasol hit a fast-break layup with 1.9 seconds left in the third quarter to give Los Angeles its biggest lead of the night at 82-71, Maurice Ager banked in a 48-footer from midcourt at the buzzer.

NOTES: Love was the first Lakers opponent with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds since Orlando's Dwight Howard did it in January 2009. ... Ridnour is likely to be out for at least a week with a strained hamstring. ... Lakers F Luke Walton missed his first four shots before getting his first bucket of the season, a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter. He returned last Friday from a hamstring injury. ... Fans near courtside included director Michael Bay, Tyrese Gibson, Mario Lopez and George Lopez.


Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited




5 Double-doubles for Pau Gasol in eight games after his 18-point, 10-rebound effort to follow up Sunday's triple-double.

12 More rebounds collected by the Wolves than the Lakers. Phil Jackson gave Minnesota credit for "working harder," particularly on the glass.

13 Seasons since the Lakers started 8-0, when the 1997-98 squad opened 11-0. L.A. also started the 1987-88 season 8-0 before dropping its ninth game.

24 Rebounds by Minnesota's Kevin Love, including 11 on the offensive end. Love added 23 points and five assists in a losing effort.

26 Minutes played by Lamar Odom, straddled with foul trouble throughout, though he his seven straight points in the fourth quarter helped L.A. close the game. He finished with 15 points, eight boards and three assists.

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Points Bryant 33, 12-28 FG
Rebounds Gasol 10, 2 OFF 8 DEF
Assists Artest, Fisher 4
Steals Artest 3
Blocks Gasol 2


POSTGAME QUOTES


Lakers coach Phil Jackson on tonight's game:
"That wasn't very pretty but it was a win for us. I give some credit to Minnesota's intensity. They played harder than we did, I thought. They worked a little bit harder than we did on the boards for sure. But we were able to prevail."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on if this was a game where the Lakers missed Andrew Bynum's size:
"We had foul trouble with Lamar [Odom] and with Ron [Artest] that cost us in the course of the game, obviously on the boards. We didn't handle ourselves very well out there with 18 turnovers."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on if he was concerned with tonight's rebounding and giving up points in the paint:
"Yes, they out-hustled us. They really had an intensity that I thought should have woken us up in the first half with 15 offensive rebounds, but they came out and got nine in the third quarter on top of it."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson on why he thinks the Lakers weren't able to maintain their intensity:
"They had a day off yesterday where they didn't have to practice. They got disbanded a little bit or disorganized. I didn't think we handled our offense very well tonight."


Lakers' Kobe Bryant on tonight's win:
"We don't take much out of it. The regular season is just about powering enough wins, just trying to get better, and tonight we did that."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on tonight's game:

"They played hard, they had a couple tough gains, but we came out here really focused and made a lot of tough shots…"

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on Thursday's game at Denver:

"Denver always plays tough out there, so it's going to be a huge challenge for us…we didn't play well at all tonight. They had a tough win at Indiana so we need to be ready to go on Thursday."

Lakers' Kobe Bryant on the close fourth quarter:
"You've got to stress like that, you're trying to take low percentage shots, or have your low percentage shooters take shots and kind of look at the consequences, and it worked out for us."


Lakers' Matt Barnes on the Lakers team vision:
"Our goal is to get better every night and I don't feel like we got better tonight. Luckily we got a win but we didn't play our game and we let this team stay in the game."



Lakers' Lamar Odom on being undefeated:
"Teams are going to come in and compete hard. We have an unbeaten record so we're going to have to expect that. That's what the NBAs all about competing at the highest level."

Lakers' Lamar Odom on the Timberwolves effort:

"They played well, well enough to hang in it for four quarters."


Lakers' Pau Gasol on the win:
"A win is a win. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't our best game but we won the game and we're thinking about the next one [now]. [We] go home, get some rest, and tomorrow practice. Keep it going."

Lakers' Pau Gasol on the Timberwolves performance:
"They got a lot of offensive rebounds. They played a little harder than we did tonight and they stayed in the game. Fortunately they lost the game."






Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Kurt Rambis on the game tonight:
"I thought we played a much smarter game, a much more controlled game. I thought Sebastian Telfair did a really good job of organizing our team and got us into the things that we want to run and we executed well. That's one of the things we been preaching with our team, is that we been very sloppy with our execution and our ball movement, but it is so much better today and I like the pace and the rhythm that we played at. I like their defense, we did an awful lot of really good things out there, but costly turnovers and critical junctures of the ball game hurt us, but it hurt us all night long."

Coach Kurt Rambis on their 27 turnovers:
"Sometimes guys tried to over-penetrate triangle against too many defensive players, not enough ball movement at that point in time. But that's guys trying to do too much, it's just youthful exuberance, so we're going to have that for awhile, until everybody calms down and matures a little bit. Overall I like what we did. This was the best game of the year by far in terms of executing what we want to get accomplished at both ends of the floor."

Coach Kurt Rambis on his new team playing the world-champs to the final minute:
"It was a good accomplishment for our team. They are trying to build something and have some confidence and they were…even though it was a loss and is disheartened again because it's another loss, at least they felt really good about how they played. They gave themselves a chance to win, and as long as they keep giving themselves a chance the wins will come."

Coach Kurt Rambis on Kevin Love's performance:
"He did a great job. Kevin [Love] over the last couple days has really made some strides in terms of his effort out there on the floor. When he plays like that he's going to be considered to have an all-star year. Those are the kind of numbers that will put him in that sort of category. The hardest thing in this league is to be consistent in delivering those type of performances night in and night out."




Minnesota forward Kevin Love on his 23 point, 24 rebound night:
"It just happened to be one of those nights where the ball was finding me in my couple of zones that I was rebounding in, and I was happy with the way things turned out for us…a five-point game. We were playing well tonight, we were executing and we can't complain with the way we played. We just got to come out and have that kind of effort against all the other teams in the league and not just the world champs."

Minnesota forward Kevin Love on if the close game was a direct result of the Lakers play or their play:
"It was a mixture of both. I mean, I think that they were basically at full strength with the exception obviously of Bynum, but they're still 8-0. They're going to have games like that, we caught them on a good night for us. We played well. I felt like we played a lot better than we have in the last four or five games."

Minnesota forward Kevin Love on his team's turnovers tonight:
"That's the story of the game right there. That's very telling [that we're a young team]. If you looked at those 27 turnovers, and we've had a 30 turnover game or games with very high turnovers, you can tell we're a young team. We just need to keep working on that and we'll be OK."






Minnesota forward Michael Beasley on if he felt his team had the Lakers frustrated at times:
"Yeah, definitely. On the defensive side we showed them bodies, we didn't make it easy. We packed the paint just like they do to any other team. I feel like we had them frustrated."

Minnesota forward Michael Beasley on what his team needs to do going forward:
"We just got to keep attacking. I feel like if we played any of our first seven games like this, we would have had a good chance to win a good bit of them. We just got to play hard like that every night, no matter who we're playing, no matter who's playing."





Minnesota guard Sebastian Telfair on what gave the Lakers the edge to win at the end:
"I think them knowing how to win, number one. Being together for a couple years, just understanding in the fourth quarter what they got to do and how to execute to win the game. We're a young team, we haven't been together for a long time."

Minnesota guard Sebastian Telfair on what his team has to do going forward:
"Come out and be excited about every game. I think the Lakers brought the best out of us, I think that's the way we got to come out and play every game. [We need to] execute, come out, be excited and up for the game."












LAKERS VS. TIMBERWOLVES GAME PREVIEW

By ALAN FERGUSON, STATS Writer

The Los Angeles Lakers have started 8-0 just twice in their storied history. A matchup with the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves would appear to give the Lakers a strong chance to accomplish that feat again.

Los Angeles looks to stay unbeaten and record its 12th consecutive victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night at the Staples Center.

Behind Pau Gasol's fourth career triple-double, the Lakers recorded their most lopsided victory of the season, 121-96 over Portland on Sunday night. Lamar Odom had 21 points to lead seven Los Angeles players in double figures, helping compensate for a season-worst, 3-for-11 shooting performance from Kobe Bryant.

"We're just playing extremely well together," Bryant said. "We're a deep team. We're an unselfish team, and this is what you get."

One of the NBA's two remaining unbeatens along with New Orleans, Los Angeles (7-0) has not opened with eight straight wins since starting a franchise-best 11-0 in 1997-98. The Lakers also started 8-0 in 1987-88, en route to the NBA championship.

The Lakers (7-0) are scoring a league-best 114 points per game - two ahead of second-place Houston. Gasol has averaged a team-best 24.1 points - just ahead of Bryant's 22.9-point average - to help his team overcome the absence of starting center Andrew Bynum, who is not expected to return from knee surgery until December.

One of the NBA's two remaining unbeaten teams, Los Angeles had its best start in franchise history (11-0) in 1997-98 and was 8-0 to begin the 1987-88 campaign.

"We've been through so many battles, and we're still growing as a team," Gasol said. "Everybody is growing up together."

The Lakers will next face a team that's giving up a league-worst 114.4 points per game and has lost by 20 or more points four times during its current five-game slide. Minnesota (1-6) trailed 26-14 after the first quarter Sunday night en route to a 120-94 loss at previously-winless Houston.

The Timberwolves, who are 3-35 overall since Feb. 9, missed 57 of 91 shots to lower their league-worst shooting percentage to 38.7. Minnesota has dropped 40 of 45 on the road since the beginning of last season.

"We were mentally prepared for the game, but we couldn't throw a pea into the ocean," coach Kurt Rambis said. "Our confidence got sucked out of us, and we just couldn't make a shot. Our defense was compromised, and it was a tough loss."

Minnesota has lost its last 11 games against Los Angeles, allowing an average of 109.5 points in those matchups. Bryant scored 50 on March 18, 2007, to begin the current win streak over the Timberwolves, and has averaged 27.8 while playing all but one game during the run.

Gasol is averaging 21.7 points and 12 rebounds in the last six matchups with Minnesota.

The Lakers have won eight in a row at home against the Timberwolves and 34 of 40 all-time meetings in Los Angeles.

Kevin Love, who leads Minnesota with 16.9 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, has averaged 11.9 points on 39 percent shooting in seven career games against the Lakers.


Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited



Lakers Andrew Bynum (right knee surgery) is out.
Theo Ratliff
(sore left knee) is probable.
Luke Walton (strained right hamstring) is probable.

Mavs Jonny Flynn (left hip) is out.
Martell Webster (back pain) is out.
Luke Ridnour (strained left hamstring) is questionable.


11/09 - MIN @ LAL
11/19 - LAL @ MIN
03/01 - LAL @ MIN
03/18 - MIN @ LAL


Minnesota has struggled out of the gate this season and currently have a record of 1- 6 and are at the bottom of the Western Conference. There are some talented players on their roster but they have not been able to put it together yet and have lost their last five games by an average of 26 points per contest. Quite simply the key to tonight's game is to jump on the Wolves from the opening tip so they do not gain any confidence. They will open the game playing hard and they will know what we are going to try and do since they run our triangle offense. If we allow this team to hang around within striking range they can be a thorn in our side.

Read Full Scouting Report @ Lakers Courtside Connection


GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers have swept each of their last three season series with the Timberwolves (2009-10: 3-0, 2008-09: 4-0, 2007-08 3-0). The two teams have met 80 times in the regular season, with the Lakers holding a 59-21 advantage. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 17-4 all-time against the Timberwolves, are 8-2 in their last 10 home games and have won their last eight straight in Los Angeles. In Minnesota, the Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 road games and have won five straight at Target Center. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers are 26-12 against Minnesota. In 48 career games including 40 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 23.3 points versus Minnesota. In their last trip of 2009 to Minnesota (2/22/09), Bryant surpassed Elgin Baylor for 20th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. In 2007, Bryant scored 50 points 3/18/07 vs. MIN, becoming the first Laker since Elgin Baylor in December of 1962 to post consecutive 50-point games as well as the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1963 to follow a 60-plus point scoring night with 50-plus points. Additionally, Bryant's 50-point effort matched Cedric Ceballos' series record 50-point game posted on December 20, 1994. Minnesota head coach Kurt Rambis played nine seasons with the Lakers, averaging 4.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 569 games while winning four NBA Championships (1982,'85,'87,'88). Most recently, Rambis served as an assistant coach on Phil Jackson's bench from 2001-04 and 2005-09, helping lead the team to two NBA titles (2002, '09). Timberwolves assistant coach Dave Wohl served as a Lakers assistant coach in Rambis' playing days on Pat Riley's staff from 1982-85. Minnesota big men Kevin Love and Ryan Hollins both played collegiately at UCLA. Additionally, the Lakers and Timberwolves have met twice in the postseason (2003 First Round, 2004 Conference Finals). The Lakers defeated the Wolves 4-2 both times despite Minnesota holding home-court advantage in both series.

UNDEFEATED STARTS
With their victory over Portland on November 7th, the Lakers improved to 7-0 for the 5th time in franchise history dating back to their days in Minneapolis. The Lakers most recent 7-0 start came in 2008-09 when they won seven straight to open the season before suffering their first loss. Under head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers have now started the season 7-0 or better three times (2010-11, 2008-09, 2001-02). With the Bulls, Jackson opened the season 7-0 once, going 12-0 to open the 1996-97 season. Below are a list of the Lakers longest undefeated streaks to start a season:

1987-88 – 8-0
2001-02 – 7-0
2010-11 – 7-0
1997-98 – 11-0
2008-09 – 7-0

A ONE-TWO PUNCH TO START THE SEASON
With 30 points from Pau Gasol and 23 points from Kobe Bryant in the Lakers November 5th victory over Toronto, the two became the first pair of teammates to both score at least 20 points in each of their team's first six games of a season since Larry Kenon and George Gervin did so over the first seven games for the 1979-80 San Antonio Spurs. Bryant and Gasol are the first pair of Lakers to do so since Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West scored 20+ points each in their first six games of the 1970-71 season.

BRYANT'S FRANCHISE MILESTONES
In first quarter of the Lakers November 3rd victory at Sacramento, Kobe Bryant passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (37,492) for first on the Lakers all-time minutes played list (regular season). Additionally, in the first quarter of the Lakers November 5th victory over Toronto, Bryant passed Jerry West (9,016 FGM) for 2nd on the franchise's all- time field goals made list (regular season). Abdul-Jabbar ranks 1st in franchise history with 9,935 field goals made. In all, Bryant now ranks 1st or 2nd on the Lakers all- time list in points (1st), games (2nd), minutes (1st), steals (2nd), field goals made & attempted (2nd), free throws made &

attempted (2nd), 3-point field goals made & attempted (1st) and free throw % (2nd).
ODOM KICKS OFF THE SEASON ON A HOT STREAK
Over the first five games of the season, Lamar Odom shot 35-for-50 (.700) from the field, ranking first in the NBA. The last player to shoot 70% from the field through the first five games of a season (min. 50 FGA) was Charles Barkley, who shot 43-for-60 (.716) over the first five games of the 1991-92 season. The only other time a Lakers player did so was Wilt Chamberlain, who shot 49-of-70 (.700) over the first five games of the 1968-69 season.

ODOM 10TH FASTEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 11,000 POINTS, 6,000 REBOUNDS AND 3,000 ASSISTS; 29th EVER TO DO SO
With 17 points 11/2 vs. Memphis, Lamar Odom recorded his 11,000th career point, becoming just the 29th player in NBA history to reach 11,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists and the 10th fastest to do so in terms of games. Only Larry Bird (527 games), Chris Webber (667 games), Kevin Garnett (681 games), Oscar Robertson (688 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (691 games), Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Elgin Baylor (716 games) Alvan Adams (718 games) and Bill Russell (746 games) reached those totals faster than Odom, who did so in 751 career games.

GASOL IN GOOD COMPANY
Through the first four games of the season, Pau Gasol amassed 97 points and 44 rebounds while shooting .533 from the field. Since the Lakers moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960, only four other Lakers had at least 90 points and 40 rebounds while shooting over .500 from the floor over the Lakers' first four games of a season. Gasol joins Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal, who last did it in 2001.

WIRE-TO-WIRE
With their 124-105 victory over Memphis on November 2, the Lakers won in wire-to-wire fashion for the second straight game, after claiming their first wire-to wire victory of the season in a 107-83 victory over Golden State on October 31st. Last year, the Lakers claimed NINE wire-to-wire victories (games in which they never trailed); seven during the regular season and two during the 2010 Playoffs (4/18 & 4/27 vs. Oklahoma City). During their previous championship run in 2008-09, the Lakers claimed 11 wire-to-wire victories; nine during the regular season and two during the 2009 Playoffs (4/29 vs. Utah & 5/17 vs. Houston). Last season, the Lakers also lost twice in wire- to-wire fashion (98-107 1/8/10 @ POR and 75-91 3/26/10 @ OKC).

BACK-TO-BACK
This season, the Lakers are 1-0 in the first game and 1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs. On the year, the Lakers will play 15 sets of back-to-back games as opposed to the 20 they faced a season ago. The only other time the Lakers have played 15 or fewer sets of back-to-back games came in the team's first ever NBA season (1948-49) when they also played 15 sets of back-to-backs. Chicago, Milwaukee and Atlanta lead the league with 23 back-to-backs each in 2010-11 while Oklahoma City (17), Phoenix (16) and the Lakers (15) will play the fewest sets this season.

GASOL NAMED WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK; 7th CAREER HONOR
On November 1, the NBA announced that Pau Gasol had earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors for games played Tuesday, October 26 through Sunday, October 31. The award is the 7th of his career (previous awards came for weeks ending 3/21/10, 2/22/09, 2/8/09, 3/26/06, 3/2/06 and 1/2/05) and 4th as a Laker. One of four Lakers (Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Shaquille O'Neal) to win the award since it became separated by Conference and one of nine to win the weekly honor overall since its inception, Gasol averaged 25.3 points (.525 FG%), 10.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.00 blocks in helping lead Los Angeles to a 3-0 week: 10/26 vs. HOU: 29 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks; 10/29 @ PHX: 21 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks; 10/31 vs. GS: 26 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks.

JACKSON BECOMES FASTEST COACH TO 1,100 CAREER VICTORIES
With the Lakers victory at Phoenix November 29, Phil Jackson became the fastest coach in NBA history to the 1,100 career victories, doing so in his 1,560th regular season NBA game. Of the four other coaches who have amassed at least 1,100 career victories, Pat Riley was previously the fastest to do so, needing 1,639 games. Of the remaining three, Jerry Sloan needed 1,823 games, Don Nelson took 1,931 games and Lenny Wilkens earned career win 1,100 in his 1,996th game on the sidelines.

Jackson (1,105-460), already the fastest coach to 1,000 career victories, established the Lakers franchise record for coaching wins in February of 2010 (534th victory 2/3/10 vs. Charlotte). The only coach in league history to win better than 70 percent of his games (.706), Jackson currently ranks 5th all-time in regular season victories, 12th in regular season games coached, 1st in playoff games coached (323), 1st in playoff games won (225) and 1st in playoff win percentage (.697). Earning induction in his first year of consideration, on September 7, 2007, Jackson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Owning a record 11 NBA Championships as a head coach, only Jerry Sloan (4th), Pat Riley (3rd), Lenny Wilkens (2nd) and Don Nelson (1st) have more career victories than Jackson. Of the top five, Jackson has coached 900+ fewer games than Wilkens, 800+ fewer games than Nelson, 400+ fewer games than Sloan and 300+ fewer games than Riley.

IRON MAN
Entering the Lakers game vs. Minnesota, Derek Fisher has played in 420 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, second among all active NBA players behind Portland's Andre Miller 620 consecutive games (began season at 612). Additionally, Fisher has started 298 consecutive regular season games dating back to January 15, 2007, tops among all active players by more than 40 games (2nd - Andre Iguodala). Former Laker A.C. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive games played with 1,192 dating from 11/19/86 – 4/18/01 while a member of the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.






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