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Kobe shines as Lakers beat Timberwolves

KOBE Bryant scored a team-high 30 points to help the Los Angeles Lakers rebound from a disappointing loss with a 132-119 road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

Andrew Bynum powered the Lakers inside with 27 points and 15 rebounds and Pau Gasol had 21 as Los Angeles lit up the scoreboard just three days after its 110-117 home loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.

"We missed a few assignments and allowed some threes that helped them win that game," Bryant said when asked about the Bobcats loss.

"I felt like defensively (tonight), when we needed to, we made the right plays."

The victory improved the Western Conference-leading Lakers to 36-9 and was the first contest of their six-game road trip.

Despite Minnesota's record of 16-29, the team has won 10 of 14 games in the month of January under coach Kevin McHale, who took over the squad for the fired Randy Wittman in December.

Elsewhere in the National Basketball Association, it was: Celtics 86, Pistons 78; Nuggets 110, Bobcats 99; Hawks 105, Nets 88; Cavaliers 112, Clippers 95; Pacers 114, Heat 103; Warriors 91, Hornets 87; Bucks 96, Raptors 85; Jazz 110, Thunder 90; 76ers 104, Wizards 94; and Bulls 109, Kings 88.

In Minneapolis, forward Al Jefferson led the way for the hosts, scoring a game-high 34 points and grabbing 13 boards in the loss.

Randy Foye added 27 points and five assists for the Timberwolves.

Los Angeles took control of the game by outscoring Minnesota 36-25 in the third quarter. The Lakers moved five games ahead of San Antonio in the battle for the Western Conference's best record.


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