GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Minnesota Timberwolves 19 26 29 27 101
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 22 31 26 27 106

Bryant, Lakers outlast Timberwolves 106-101


Posted Jan 29 2012 6:51PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Kobe Bryant had 35 points and 14 rebounds and Pau Gasol scored 28 to give the Los Angeles Lakers a much-needed road victory, 106-101 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

Andrew Bynum added 21 points for the Lakers, who won for just the second time in nine road games this season. They led by 18 in the third quarter, then withstood a furious Timberwolves charge to hang on for their second victory in six games.

Kevin Love had 33 points and 13 rebounds and Michael Beasley added 18 points and 12 boards for the Wolves, who lost to the Lakers for the 16th straight time.

Minnesota led 94-93 with 3:19 to play, but the Lakers' size was too much down the stretch. Bynum threw down two dunks and Bryant slithered into the lane for two clutch jumpers to turn back the young Wolves.

The Lakers staggered into Target Center on Sunday night with four losses in five games and an ugly 1-7 mark on the road. Their struggling offense in new coach Mike Brown's first season had failed to top 100 points in 13 straight games, the club's longest streak since the shot clock was implemented in 1954.

But the Lakers shot 50 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point range against the Wolves.

What had been a sleeper of a game turned into a heart-pounder in the final 17 minutes.

The Lakers were in complete control midway through the third quarter, shooting 55 percent and suffocating the young Wolves offense. Bryant was feeling it, yapping at Wes Johnson after drilling a 3-pointer right in his grill and Gasol's layup gave the Lakers a 73-55 lead with 5 minutes to play in the period.

Ricky Rubio had just one point, two assists and two rebounds at that point, and the Wolves were unable to get anything going outside of Love's typically efficient night.

Then Wolves coach Rick Adelman switched to a zone defense and Beasley and Anthony Randolph added some much-needed energy to rally the team. Martell Webster hit a 3, Randolph threw down an alley-oop from Rubio and the Spanish rookie finished a 19-6 quarter-closing surge with a running bank shot to cut the Lakers' lead to 79-74 heading into the fourth.

Rubio's pull-up jumper tied the game at 89 with 6 minutes to play.

But the Lakers finally started using their size to find holes in the zone and overpower the undersized Wolves.

Gasol had an awful night in Milwaukee, shooting 6 of 18. But he was sharp from the start against the Wolves, hitting his first four and scoring 14 on 6-for-8 shooting in the first quarter.

Rubio finished with five points, eight assists and four rebounds. Webster had 10 points.

NOTES: Bryant surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most field goals made in franchise history. ... Adelman interviewed for the Lakers coaching job. "I never look back on something like that," he said. "When I interviewed, they still had the same people they have now. They're a talented team." ... Brad Miller made his season debut for the Wolves, scoring three points in 8 minutes. ... The Wolves bench outscored the Lakers' 42-15 and they outrebounded Los Angeles 52-41 while committing just four turnovers.

Copyright 2012 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

View More Photos

Points Bryant 35, 14-29 FG
Rebounds Bryant 14, 3 OFF 11 DEF
Assists Fisher 7
Steals None
Blocks Bynum/World Peace 2


Mike Brown:

On what he told his team after the game:

"I told them first of all, good win, because we needed a win on the road. So we need t feel good about it. I thought we did some good things on both sides of the ball, but I let them know we only had 24 offensive rebounds and that's something we have to show up. We'll just take this win."

On scoring over a 100 points this game:

"I thought we did a nice job moving the ball, we kind of kept it simple offensively. Everybody shared the ball, bodies moved, we didn't get in to offense late, we attacked the clock the right way which is getting to all the offense early so we can get to the second and third options on the backside. We passed the ball out of double teams and we took over the shots. Kobe had maybe 2-3 open threes and that hasn't happened in a while. So the ball movement, the body movement, attacking the clock: all of that stuff is fun to watch and made the game easy for the big 3"

On winning a road game:

"It feels good one to get one on the road. Obviously it feels good to get one at home or on the road but because we hadn't experienced this in a while, we'll take this"

Andrew Bynum:

On leaving Minnesota with a win

"Thank god they took Pekovic out the game."

On winning on the road:

"It felt good to get some touches and do something good with them. Looking forward to winning again against Charlotte."

Metta World Peace:

On being back in the starting line up:

"I really don't have a real comment on it but, I mean, it's kind of normal, it's not really... the main thing is that we won it. I think that was the main thing, just that consistency, whatever it's going to be. Just consistent so we can move forward and we can start winning games."

On playing in the fourth quarter:

"Yea, I mean we... Yea we're building some consistency, we haven't really experimented with line ups, trying to see who can play. You know, coaches trying to experiment and see how he wants to attack the rest of the season and... I think you know maybe the way we ended the season last year people are mistaken that we needed to change something. Why the issues concerns that whatever happened last year was an easy fix from the normal guys not hitting shots, normally we still have a hundred percent confidence in being in the finals three years in a row, maybe needing that rest. Take all of that into consideration, you've got a rejuvinated team."

Kobe Bryant:

On the zone defense playing factor in the third quarter:

"It was the offensive rebounding that really destroyed us. It kept them in the game and they really did a number on us on the boards."

On him and Pau Gasol playing the whole second half:

"Yea I can't remember me and Pau doing it together before, maybe in the finals."

On the win being important:

"I have no idea, I would assume so. We needed to get a win on the road."

Pau Gasol:

On getting a win after struggling on the road:

"Absolutely, a win is a win. On the road we've been struggling as you know and obviously it's a good quality win against a team that has been here against a lot of good teams. So we have to still learn, try to be a little more consistent and be smarter when we have big leads and allow teams back in the ball game. Other than that, we're happy with a win."

On the big three performing tonight:

"That wasn't the game plan, it just kind of turned out to be the way. You know when a guy gets it going, obviously a team recognizes it and we try to get the ball to that guy so he can be effective and be productive. I think it was a good game offensively for our ball club. Defensively we did some good things we've got to continue to get better."

Rick Adelman:

On the game:

We’ve got to learn that we’ve got to play with energy all the time. It took us until that stretch in the third and fourth quarter that we started running and started attacking them. We did a lot of good things, we got a lot of fastbreak points and second chance points, but we couldn’t make shots. We shot 38 percent and the game goes right down to the end. Went to that zone. We haven’t really practiced it that much. The guys really played hard, they really came in and played in the fourth quarter, but we just didn’t make the shots that they did.

Forced shots?:

No, I don’t think they were forced at all. They were the same shots that got us back in the game. It just happens. Ricky had some coming off some pick and rolls that were wide open. Martell had 3 or 4. I don’t know, maybe some of the guys and maybe they got tired in some of the last four minutes. We talked about that. But I think you have to look at it and see what we did well and see if we can come out with a better start than we had tonight.

Kevin Love:

On the game:

"Collectively as a team, it took us too long (to get started). That has been kind of our Achilles heel. We figure if we start the game well, we can always finish it well. We have been a second half team, really throughout this entire year. We just need to come out in the first 24 minutes and replicate what we do out there in the second half as well."

On the zone defense:

"Kobe (Bryant) was Kobe tonight. He hit big shots, there is no getting past that. Maybe three or four times, he hit it right in my face. I had a hand there, I slapped his hand and he just seemed to hit shots over and over. That is why he is the best player in the game. He hit a lot of big shots for them and obviously (Pau) Gasol and (Andrew) Bynum were big for them as well."

Michael Beasley:

On playing a zone:

"You not going to stop Kobe Bryant, you have to contain him. I feel like the zone contained him aside from a couple a long balls he hit. We tried to throw size at him, but clearly they have one of the bigger teams in the NBA but I feel like we held our own."

On playing against the Lakers size:

"What they did was that they loaded Kobe and Bynum on the same side along with the Gasol, so it was like pick your poison. With Kobe hitting threes in the third quarter it was hard because you have a bucket with Bynum in the paint. Then you got Kobe Bryant one of the best shooters to ever play this game shooting wide open jump shots. They kind of threw a twist at us but it is a way for us to learn."

Lakers-Timberwolves Preview


Posted Jan 28 2012 10:13PM

It's been nearly five years since the Minnesota Timberwolves have had a chance at a .500 record this late into a season. However, it's also been almost as long since they've beaten their next opponent.

The Timberwolves will attempt to snap a 15-game skid to the Los Angeles Lakers by taking advantage of their struggles on the road Sunday night.

For the third time this season, Minnesota (9-10) is close to evening its record. In the most recent attempt, the Timberwolves were 7-8 before a 108-98 loss at Utah on Jan. 21 but have gotten another chance after two wins over teams from the Lone Star State.

After a 105-90 victory in Dallas on Wednesday, they topped San Antonio 87-79 on Friday when Ricky Rubio scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. Kevin Love also had 18 points in his first home game after signing a four-year extension worth more than $60 million, and was one of three Minnesota players to record double-doubles along with Rubio and center Nikola Pekovic.

"It's a terrific win for our guys," coach Rick Adelman said. "Hopefully it's really a step forward for us."

Minnesota will try to use take another step by improving to .500 after 20 games for the first time since it was 22-22 on Jan. 30, 2007, and by beating the Lakers for the first time since March 6, 2007.

The 15 consecutive losses to Los Angeles (11-9) since that 117-107 double overtime victory at home is the league's second-longest active losing streak to one opponent. Minnesota has dropped 16 in a row to Northwest Division rival Portland.

The Timberwolves, though, might have one of their best chances to snap that skid as the Lakers are 1-7 away from home. They opened a road-heavy stretch Saturday with a 100-89 loss in Milwaukee.

A Kobe Bryant jumper put Los Angeles within four points of the Bucks with 4:52 remaining, but Milwaukee responded with a 15-4 run.

The Lakers, who are playing seven of their next eight on the road, are off to their worst start on the road since dropping eight of their first nine in 2002-03. They're also seeking to avoid their first five-game road losing streak since March 4-15, 2007.

"There's concern and determination that we want to fix things. If we solve that issue, then we'll be all right," Bryant said after his team lost for the fourth time in five games overall.

Los Angeles can help itself by scoring 100 or more points for the first time in 14 games. The Lakers, winners of seven in a row at the Target Center, haven't surpassed 96 in any of their eight road contests.

They're averaging 89.6 points away from home but have topped the century mark in seven of their last nine in Minnesota.

This time, though, Los Angeles will face a Timberwolves team that's made impressive strides defensively in its first season under Adelman. Minnesota is allowing 93.5 points per game after giving a league-worst 107.7 per contest in 2010-11.

The Timberwolves, though, could use more help from Love against the Lakers. The California native has averaged 12.2 points in 11 all-time matchups, his lowest against a Western Conference opponent. He's averaged 10.0 points on 33.3 percent shooting in five home games and had one of two scoreless starts in his career during a 112-95 loss Nov. 19, 2010.

Bryant, who broke Jerry West's franchise record for free throws made Saturday, is four field goals shy of surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's team mark of 9,935.

Copyright 2012 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
Probable Starters
  #9 Barnes SF #7 Williams  
  #16 Gasol PF #42 Love  
  #17 Bynum C #31 Milicic  
  #24 Bryant SG #13 Ellington  
  #2 Fisher PG #9 Rubio  

Lakers Kobe Bryant
(torn lunotriquetral ligament, right wrist) is probable.
Josh McRoberts
(sprained left big toe and left thumb) is probable.
Steve Blake
(costochaondral fracture) is out.

Jose Barea
(sprained left ankle) doubtful
Michael Beasley
(right midfoot sprain) doubtful
Malcom Lee
(torn meniscus in his left knee) sideline indefinitely
Brad Miller
(microfracture surgery on left knee) doubtful
Luke Ridnour
(sore left knee) questionable
Martell Webster
(microdiscectomy surgery) questionable

Game 1: 1/29 - LAL @ MIN
Game 2: 2/29 - MIN@ LAL
Game 3: 3/09 - LAL @ MIN
Game 4: 3/16 - MIN @ LAL


The Lakers have swept each of the last four season series with Minnesota (2010-11: 4- 0), 2009-10: 3-0, 2008-09: 4-0, 2007-08 3-0) and are in the midst of a 15-game win streak against the Timberwolves. The two teams have met 84 times in the regular season, with the Lakers holding a 63-21 advantage. At STAPLES Center, the Lakers are 19-4 all-time against the Timberwolves and have won their last 10 straight in Los Angeles. In Minnesota, the Lakers are 8-2 in their last 10 road games and have won seven straight at Target Center. In 52 career games including 44 starts, Kobe Bryant is averaging 23.4 points versus Minnesota. 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. Both Minnesota forward Malcolm Lee and forward Kevin Love played collegiately at UCLA. Love’s father, Stan Love, played 81 total games for the Lakers during the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons, averaging 6.2 points and 3.3 rebounds. Timberwolves rookie guard Ricky Rubio and Lakers forward Pau Gasol are both long-time members of the Spanish National Team and most notably, were members of both Spain’s silver medal winning team at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and Spain’s two-time (2009, 2011) defending Eurobasket Championship winning teams. 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.

Saturday’s game at Milwaukee is the first of a back-to-back set with the Bucks and Timberwolves. The Lakers first road/road back-to-back this season came last week when they traveled to the Sunshine State and faced Miami and Orlando, going 0-2 in those games. This year, the Lakers will play 18 sets of back-to-back games and one set of back-to-back-to-back games. Last year, the Lakers played an NBA-low 15 sets of back-to-back games, equaling the franchise record set in the team’s first ever NBA season (1948-49). While 20 of the team’s 66 games (30%) will come without the benefit of a day’s rest, the Lakers are only scheduled for one back-to-back-to-back set of games; other NBA teams have as many as three back-to-back-to-back sets on the year.

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Having gone 7-5 in their last 12 games, the common denominator in each contest, win or lose, is that the Lakers have scored fewer than 100 points. The last time the Lakers scored fewer than 100 points in 12 consecutive games came during the 2003-04 season when Los Angeles went 12 games from 1/12/04 - 2/2/04 without hitting triple digits; the longest streak in franchise history since the introduction of the shot clock prior to the 1954-55 season. The Lakers went 6-6 during the stretch of games, eventually scoring 111 points in a 111-106 overtime victory 2/4/04 at Cleveland. The Lakers finished that season with a 98.2 point per game scoring average while limiting their opponents to 94.3 points per game, ultimately winning the West before falling to the Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. The 98.2 ppg scoring average is the lowest for a Lakers team in the Los Angeles era. In the shot clock era, only the 1954-55 Lakers have averaged fewer points per game in a season (95.6 ppg). Additionally, the only other Lakers 10-game run without scoring at least 100 points in a game came in 2002 (11/3/02 – 11/22/02), with the Lakers going 3-7 during that stretch.

While opening the season with a 9-1 mark at home, the Lakers are now 1-5 in away games this season, their worst road start since the 2002-03 season, when they opened the season 1-8 on the road, playing their first seven road games without injured center Shaquille O’Neal, who was sidelined after having toe surgery. That season marked their worst one-win road record since the team moved to Los Angeles. The 1958-59 Minneapolis Lakers also started the season with a 1-8 road record, after the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers started the season with a franchise worst 1-15 road record. This season, the Lakers were 0-3 on the road before earning an overtime victory at Utah on January 11. The Lakers last opened a season with three consecutive road losses in 1995-96, eventually falling to 0-4 away from home before earning their first road win. Since the end of neutral site games prior to the 1973-74 season, the Lakers have now opened their schedule with three or more consecutive road losses five times: 2011-12 (0-3), 1995-96 (0-4), 1993-94 (0-6), 1984-85 (0-4) and 1978-79 (0-4).

With a free throw at the 3:54 mark in the second quarter 1/20/12 at Orlando, Pau Gasol became the 10th foreign born player to reach 14,000 points during an NBA career. Only nine other foreign born players have reached the 14,000 career point milestone (active players career totals on 1/20/12): Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946 / Nigeria), Dominique Wilkins (26,668 / France), Patrick Ewing (24,815 / Jamaica), Dirk Nowitzki (23,072 / Germany), Tim Duncan (21,854 / U.S. Virgin Islands), Rolando Blackman (17,623 / Panama), Steve Nash (16,073 / South Africa), Kiki Vandeweghe (15,980 / Germany) and Detlef Schrempf (15,761 / West Germany).

Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (28,441) are Shaquille O’Neal (5th/28,596), Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone (2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform.

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. In 2009-10, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44 points (West’s retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).

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