GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Los Angeles Lakers 20 31 33 28 112
Play by Play Minnesota Timberwolves 21 20 30 24 95


Barnes' sharpshooting lifts Lakers over Wolves

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI

MINNEAPOLIS(AP) Kobe Bryant had 23 points and eight rebounds, and Matt Barnes scored 24 on 7-of-7 shooting to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 112-95 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Lamar Odom dominated Team USA teammate Kevin Love with 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Lakers (11-2).

Love, the NBA's leading rebounder, had just seven rebounds and was scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting.

Darko Milicic had career highs with 23 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks, and Michael Beasley had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves (4-10).

Barnes signed a two-year, $3.6 million contract in July and has been worth every penny and then some. Coach Phil Jackson calls the second unit "The Renegades," and Barnes led the way with seven rebounds and six assists.

With Bryant making just eight of 27 shots, Barnes' sharpshooting couldn't have come at a better time. It was the best game for Barnes since he scored 25 points, including 7 for 8 on 3s, with eight rebounds in Golden State's victory over Philadelphia in 2006.

Pau Gasol chipped in 16 points and 14 rebounds, and the Lakers held Minnesota to 39.6 percent shooting.

Bryant didn't shoot a high percentage, but he gave the many who paid to see him more than their money's worth in the third quarter. He wowed the crowd with a Jordanesque reverse layup, then caught a lob from Derek Fisher in traffic, laid it in and converted the three-point play for a 72-55 lead.

Bryant grabbed all the highlights, but it was Barnes' shot-making that made the difference. He scored the last 10 points of the third for the Lakers, hitting three 3-pointers and turning one into a four-point play to keep the Wolves from creeping back into it.

The Timberwolves came into the game on a hot streak by their standards. Winners of three of the last five games, the Wolves have gotten impressive performances from Beasley and Love to invigorate a fan base that has been disillusioned by years of losing.

Beasley averaged 32.6 points over the last five games and Love had a historic 31-point, 31-rebound performance against New York a week ago to catch the attention of local fans. It all started with a surprisingly competitive five-point loss to the Lakers in Staples Center on Nov. 9.

Love had 23 points and 24 rebounds in that game, but was despondent as he trudged off the floor on Friday night with teammate Anthony Tolliver's arm around his shoulders.

The Target Center was sold out for the first time all season, with plenty of Laker fans turning out to cheer Bryant and the two-time defending champs.

Pregame introductions included a video that read, "It's happening. The Timberwolves are back."

Not just yet.

The Timberwolves never got closer than eight points in the second half and the Lakers put it away with a 12-0 run that turned the final seven minutes into garbage time.

NOTES: Jackson was asked how Love, who doesn't have a ton of athletic ability, can be so effective on the boards. "He fouls a lot and gets away with it," Jackson deadpanned. ... Beasley topped 25 points for the sixth straight game, the first time a Timberwolves player has done that since Kevin Garnett in 2000. ... Wolves rookie Wes Johnson had a rough nigh with just five points on 2-for-9 shooting.


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0 Points for Kevin Love, who struggled to finish at the rim or get around Team USA teammate Lamar Odom. Love missed all seven of his shots from the field, while Odom finished with 11 points, eight boards and seven assists, the latter stat leading L.A.

23 Career-high point total reached by Minnesota's Darko Milicic, who added 16 boards, five assists and six blocks in an impressive all-around effort.

29.6 Kobe Bryant's field goal percentage on 8-of-27 attempts. Bryant looked down at his arthritic index finger that he broke last December against the Wolves a few times, and struggled to find a rhythm throughout. Phil Jackson had mentioned previously that Bryant sometimes struggled with his shot after days off from practice, which he had on Thursday.

62 Derek Fisher's three-point percentage on the season after he drained both of his attempts in Minnesota, good for second in the NBA. Fish finished 5-of-5 from the field for 12 points.

100 Shooting percentage in the game for Matt Barnes, who nailed all seven of his field goals and all five of his three-pointers for 24 points off the bench to lead L.A. Barnes also added seven rebounds and six assists in a fantastic all-around game, easily his best as a Laker.




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Points Barnes 24, 7-7 FG
Rebounds Gasol 14, 3 OFF 11 DEF
Assists Odom 7
Steals Fisher 4
Blocks Odom 4


POSTGAME QUOTES

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

On the team's bench play:
"I don't want to throw generalities out there. Tonight was a great night for (Barnes), but we just go one game at a time and hope our guys perform at a superior level."

On tonight's game:
"The second quarter, our bench came out and played really well. Shannon and Matt provided the scoring, but we did some things a lot better defensively and that kind of sealed the deal. They came back in with their starters and we lost a little bit of that lead, it went from 16 to 10, but they got it going again in the third quarter and kind of held it off."

On the road trip:
"We controlled the pace of the game. We wanted to control the pace of the game, we wanted to control how the game was played and we paced the games pretty well. We had our tempo that we wanted and took our opportunities to open up games and were able to do that in appropriate times in all those three games."


Lakers Guard Derek Fisher

On Matt Barnes' perfect 7-for-7 shooting:
"Not that I can recall. Maybe a couple guys go two-for-two or something like that, but it's a shame he couldn't get more looks. He had it going good out there. Not pointing at anyone in particular, but when you're having a good night, obviously you'd like to get as many good looks as you can."

On the team's bench play:
"I think, as a team, we're continuing to grow together and understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses and how to play with each other. We're one of the rare teams that has lineups and groups of guys that don't really play together a lot at times -- I've never been on the floor with Steve (Blake); Shannon (Brown) and I don't play together very much. But we do have a unit, a starting group and then a bench group. There are nights when those guys have carried us. They've had good scoring, played great defense and to accomplish the goal that we want to accomplish this year, we know it's going to take an entire team."


Lakers Forward Matt Barnes

"We wanted to finish the road trip off strong. Minnesota is a team that's played us well this season. They beat us good in the preseason and then gave us a good game in L.A. You know they're playing well right now off the game of Beasley, so we know we wanted to come out here, and we started a little slow, but we hit our rhythm and never looked back."

On his shooting performance:
"i was just trying to play hard. I have a role on the team which is rebounding and playing defense, and knocking down open shots, and I was just knocking down open shots."


Lakers Forward Lamar Odom

On stopping Kevin Love:
"When I was on the floor and I wanted to make sure I didn't foul him, especially wrestling with him. He's so persistant going for the ball and he probably tired me out a little bit, I didn't have my legs for my shot because of his job, just staying all around the basket and making you aware of him. I tried to front him as much as possible when the ball went up, so he didn't get any easy offensive rebounds. That kind of gets him going offensively."

Did your length give him problems?
"It didn't last game, he had 20 and 20 against us. He's a tremendously smart player who understands the game and I just wanted to keep him off the boards as much as possible."


Timberwolves Coach Kurt Rambis

"Well, obviously not the outcome we wanted but I thought our guys did a really good job for the vas majority of the ball game. They stuck to our game plan, we go the shots we wanted a lot of times but we just couldn't make shots. They (Lakers) are team that can come down and take your good defense or high quality defense and make a difficult shot and turn your defense into nothing. They are a poised, organized, veteran ball club and whenever things weren't going well for us they found a way to kind of push the button and get the shots they needed and start getting the gap. Our guys started hanging their heads a little bit because we couldn't make our shots fall."

"I like what we did, I like what we did on both ends of the court. They (Lakers) are just a really good team."

(on defending the 3)
"You have so many guys you have to worry about inside. Artest because of his strength, Pau (Gasol) inside, Kobe (Bryant) inside so you have to do a good job protecting that and that we have to do a good job of running shooters off their spots. When somebody comes off the bench and goes 5-5, He's (Barnes) a streaky shooter. He will make them tonight and then the next night he may or may not. That is the type of thing we have to acknowledge as a team when somebody comes in and they are that hot we have to do something to disrupt them. We didn't do that."

(on Kevin Love's tough night)
"It is a tough match up when he is out there on the floor and has to guard Lamar (Odom) so that is the first part of it. Then, because of the way they play and execute their offense, good defense has to be very active. You can't just settle in and make three of four efforts, a lot of times it is 5,6,7,8,9, or ten efforts to get the stop because they move the ball so well. Kevin just couldn't fine a rhythm on either end of the floor tonight and that happens. It is not unusual or out of the norm, he just has to pick himself up and bring his energy and effort the next ball game."

(on Darko's performance)
"The last three games we have been working with Darko on his confidence. I don't know what type of basketball shape Darko was in to start the year. I don't know how much playing he had been actually doing. I think he is finding his rhythm now. He is being more aggressive and shooting the ball the way he should be shooting the basketball. He is starting to play the way had hoped and envisioned the way he would play."












LAKERS VS. TIMBERWOLVES GAME PREVIEW

By BRETT HUSTON, STATS Senior Writer

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have gotten the Los Angeles Lakers back on track, helping the team rebound from its first two losses by leading the way in consecutive victories.

There's no reason to think the NBA champs won't push their streak to three.

The Lakers wrap up a three-game road trip Friday night looking for a 13th straight win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Los Angeles (10-2) won its first eight games by an average of 12.5 points, getting balanced scoring from Bryant, Gasol and Lamar Odom while limiting opponents to 42.8 percent shooting.

The Lakers' defense deserted them in a 118-112 defeat at Denver on Nov. 11 and Sunday in a 121-116 loss to Phoenix, but Bryant and Gasol have gotten Los Angeles back on track during the trip. Bryant had 31 points in a 118-107 win at Milwaukee on Tuesday and scored 33 a night later in Detroit, with Gasol adding 25 points and 12 boards to help the Lakers cruise to a 103-90 victory.

The Lakers jumped out to a nine-point lead after one quarter and led by as many as 26.

"It was very important to get off to a good start," said Bryant, who has scored 30 points in four straight road games. "I think when you play teams like this, and you give them momentum and give them energy, all of a sudden you find yourself in a dogfight."

Bryant had 33 points in a 99-94 home win over Minnesota on Nov. 9, and though the Timberwolves (4-9) are the only team to hold the Lakers to less than 100 this season, that's of little solace to one of the league's youngest teams. Los Angeles has averaged 108.7 points in winning 12 straight versus Minnesota, a streak that began when Bryant scored 50 in a 109-102 win March 18, 2007.

Gasol has been around for nine of those victories, and his teams have won 12 in a row against the Timberwolves dating to his days in Memphis. The three-time All-Star has averaged 20.3 points and 14.8 rebounds in his last four games versus Minnesota.

Gasol leads the league with 10 double-doubles - one more than Minnesota'sKevin Love, who had 23 points and 24 rebounds against the Lakers.

Love had 24 points and 14 boards Wednesday against the Clippers, but it looked like the Timberwolves were about to blow a sizable lead for the second straight game. Minnesota led by eight with two minutes left Monday in Charlotte but lost 113-110, then had an seven-point edge with under four minutes to play Wednesday before a 10-1 Los Angeles run.

That one didn't end in disaster. Corey Brewer tied the score at 111 with 1:14 remaining and Michael Beasley hit a jumper with two seconds left - the last of his 33 points - to rescue the Timberwolves in a 113-111 victory.

Beasley has averaged 32.6 points - 9.4 in the fourth quarter - in helping Minnesota go 3-2 since Nov. 10.

"I think I'm getting there," Beasley said of becoming the Wolves' go-to guy. "Every game coach (Kurt Rambis) is finding the confidence in me to close out games. But we've got so many guys that can knock down shots. We're just waiting for our numbers to be called."

Beasley is the first Timberwolves player since Kevin Garnett in 1999-2000 to score at least 25 points in five straight games.


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.
Lamar Odom
(sore right foot) is probable.
Theo Ratliff
(left knee surgery) is out.

Mavs Jonny Flynn (left hip) is out.
Nikola Pekovic (sprained left ankle and foot) is doubtful.
Martell Webster (back pain) is out.


11/09 - MIN @ LAL 99-94 W
11/19 - LAL @ MIN
03/01 - LAL @ MIN
03/18 - MIN @ LAL


Our game against the T'Wolves on November 9th was not one of our best efforts. We clearly need to approach the game Friday night in Minneapolis with more zeal. We played a lethargic game that night at Staples Center and Minnesota was in a position with a couple minutes left to steal the game. The main number that jumps out at you from the final box score is obviously rebounds. We were out-rebounded 54-42 overall but it was on the Minnesota offensive end that we were demolished. We gave up 26 offensive rebounds and just to put that in perspective, if a team gets 12-15 that is probably too many. The silver lining to this cloud is that we held Minnesota to 38% shooting from the field so there were more offensive rebound opportunities but that doesn't excuse our poor effort on the boards. We must simply do a better job of keeping a body on a body (especially Love – 24 rebounds) and finish the defensive possessions by securing the ball.

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GAME NOTES

SEASON& SERIES NOTES; CONNECTIONS
The Lakers lead their current season series with Minnesota 1-0 after having 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 81 times in the regular season, with the Lakers holding a 60-21 advantage. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 18-4 all-time against the Timberwolves, are 9-1 in their last 10 home games and have won their last nine 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 27-12 against Minnesota. In 49 career games including 41 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 23.5 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 ('82,'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 forward Kevin Love 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.

SHUTTING IT DOWN EARLY*
In the Lakers victory 11/17 at Detroit, Kobe Bryant scored 33 points despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter. The 33 points are the most Bryant has scored in a game in which he did not play in the fourth quarter or overtime since Feb. 23, 2007 against the Celtics. In that contest, Bryant scored 38 points before sitting out the entire fourth quarter. The most points Bryant has scored in a game in which he did not play the fourth quarter came on Dec. 20, 2005 when he posted 62 points in 33 minutes vs. Dallas (18-31 FG, 22-25 FT). Bryant established a franchise record for points in a quarter with 30 in the third of that contest, single-handedly outscoring the entire Mavericks team 62-61 through three quarters.

BACK-TO-BACK
This season, the Lakers are 2-0 in the first game and 2-0 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.

RAINING THREES
In their 116-121 loss to Phoenix on November 14th, the Lakers and Suns combined for 31 three-point field goals on the night, one shy of the NBA record of 32 established by Phoenix (18) at Seattle (14) in double overtime on January 22, 2006. The combined total marks the 8th time in NBA history that two teams have combined for 31 three- point field goals and just the 6th that two teams did so in a non-overtime game. It is the 3rd time the Lakers have been involved in combining for 31 three-point field goals, also doing so 3/30/08 (Lakers (14), Washington (17) – overtime) and 12/17/06 (Lakers (19), Washington (12) – overtime).
Additionally, the Suns total of 22 three-point field goals made was one shy of the NBA record of 23 established by the Orlando Magic 1/13/09 at Sacramento. In addition to breaking their own franchise record of 20 three-point field goals made, Phoenix eclipsed the Lakers opponent franchise record of 19 three-point field goals made, also established by the Suns in April of 2005.

BRYANT YOUNGEST IN NBA HISTORY TO 26,000 POINTS; 12th EVER TO REACH MILESTONE*
With his 17th point November 11th at Denver, Kobe Bryant reached 26,000 for his career. In doing so, Bryant became the youngest to do so in NBA history (32 years, 80 days), surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (32 years, 114 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 331 days). Additionally, Bryant became the 12th player in NBA history to score 26,000 points and the 8th fastest to do so (1,030) in terms of games, behind Shaquille O'Neal (1,022). Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 26,000, doing so in 734 games. Among the remaining top five scorers in NBA history (Chamberlain and O'Neal already mentioned), Michael Jordan reached 26,000 points in 815 games, Abdul-Jabbar in 925 games and Karl Malone in 997 games.

Last season, with a free throw at the three minute mark of the 2nd quarter January 21st at Cleveland, Kobe Bryant scored his 25,000th career point, becoming the 15th NBA player in league history to do so as well as the youngest ever to reach the milestone at 31 years and 151 days of age. Bryant surpassed Wilt Chamberlain (31 years, 186 days) in terms of youngest to 25,000, with Karl Malone (33 years, 228 days) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33 years, 249 days) 3rd and 4th respectively. In terms of games, Bryant (989 games) became the 9th fastest to 25,000 career points, behind Dominique Wilkins (960). Chamberlain was the fastest to reach 25,000 (691 games).

The youngest player in league history to accumulate 16,000 – 20,000 and 23,000 – 25,000 points, Bryant was the 22nd fastest to 16,000, 20th fastest to 17,000, 16th fastest to 18,000, 15th fastest to 19,000, 15th fastest to 20,000, 12th fastest to 21,000, 12th fastest to 22,000, 11th fastest to 23,000, 9th fastest to 24,000 and 9th fastest to 25,000 points in terms of games.

IRON MAN
Entering the Lakers game at Minnesota, Derek Fisher has played in 425 consecutive regular season games dating back to April 15, 2005, second among all active NBA players behind Portland's Andre Miller 624 consecutive games (began season at 612). Additionally, Fisher has started 303 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.

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 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.

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.

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.






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