Kobe Bryant sparked the Los Angeles Lakers to a comfortable 116-94 home victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, scoring 33 points to put his team one win away from the .500 mark.
Thursday night's game at Staples Center was never in doubt as the Lakers outscored their opponents in every quarter and showed the cohesiveness that had been lacking earlier in the season.
Antawn Jamison contributed 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench, while center Dwight Howard played a big role on defense and snagged 13 rebounds.
The injury-riddled Timberwolves were led by Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, who came within two rebounds of his first "triple-double" and ended the game with 13 points, eight boards and 13 assists, one short of his career high.
The win was the Lakers' 21st consecutive victory over the Timberwolves and ran their record for the season to 29-30. Minnesota fell to 20-35.
In two other games Thursday night, the Los Angeles Clippers continued their strong season by scoring a 99-91 road win over the Indiana Pacers and the Chicago Bulls topped the Philadelphia 76ers 93-82. EFE