NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Minnesota
(Tuesday, December 4th)
Final Score: LA Lakers 116, Minnesota 95
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant overcame a case of the stomach flu to score 20 points in just 29 minutes as the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers pounded the Minnesota Timberwolves, 116-95, at the Target Center.
Bryant hit six of his 12 field goal attempts and also dished out five assists and the Lakers, also without center Andrew Bynum, got 16 points off the bench from Sasha Vujacic and 13 from Jordan Farmar.
Lamar Odom had nine points and nine rebounds and Chris Mihm and Luke Walton also finished in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Trevor Ariza parlayed extended late minutes into 15 points for LA, which snapped a two-game losing streak by winning its third straight against the Wolves.
"Minnesota's been playing teams tough, they just haven't been winning games," said Walton. "We knew we couldn't just come in and not be ready to play. We did a good job of executing tonight."
Sebastian Telfair led six Timberwolves players in double figures with 16 points, while Al Jefferson again went for a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards.
Craig Smith finished with 13 points, while Rashad McCants had 14 and Ryan Gomes added 11 for Minnesota, which has lost four in a row to fall to 2-14 on the season.
LA eventually took control of a stagnant first quarter, during which no one scored in the first two-plus minutes, and led 30-24 going into the second despite Bryant's limited minutes.
Vujacic had nine points in the second as the Lakers extended their cushion and took a 62-46 edge into the half.
Minnesota pulled within 12 to open the second half, but LA used a 13-4 spurt capped by a jumper from Odom to go up 78-57 with five minutes remaining in the third, and led 86-68 heading to the final stanza.
The Wolves pulled within 88-72 on an Antoine Walker jumper with under 11 minutes to go, but the fourth quarter was largely academic. LA's cushion was as many as 25 following an Ariza lay-in with under four minutes to go that made it a 111-86 game.
"We believe that we can compete night in and night out and the last two nights we haven't competed to where we're capable of competing," said Walker. "Hopefully we can turn it around in Atlanta."
Bynum did not dress after spending part of the day in a Minneapolis hospital receiving IV fluids with flu symptoms...Bryant played just one minute in the fourth quarter...Minnesota was without head coach Randy Wittman, who was preparing for a back operation Wednesday; a timetable for his return to the team is unknown...Walker finished with 10 points for the Wolves, who hit just 5-of-22 from beyond the arc and allowed the Lakers to shoot 54.3 percent.
12/04 23:24:51 ET