Pau Gasol scored more than 20 points in a game for just the third time this season and the Los Angeles Lakers (21-26) picked up their fourth win in five games by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves (17-26), 111-100, Friday night.
Gasol, who started at center with Dwight Howard missing the game due to injury, also grabbed 12 rebounds. It was just his second double-double since November.
Point guard Steve Nash also played well, scoring 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting with seven rebounds, seven assists and no turnovers. Kobe Bryant scored 17 points and had eight assists, but he shot just 4 for 13. Antawn Jamison scored 18 points off the bench.
The Lakers got off to a quick start, taking a 37-24 lead after the first quarter and pushing their lead to 15 at halftime. Alexey Shved led the Timberwolves with 18 points off the bench. Derrick Williams scored 15, J.J. Barea and Nikola Pekovic each scored 14 points, and Andrei Kirilenko scored 12 points
The loss was Minnesota's sixth in a row.