Bryant, Lakers ease past Timberwolves
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 33 points in three quarters and the Los Angeles Lakers continued the NBA's longest active winning streak over on opponent with a 116-94 rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Lakers have won 21 straight against Minnesota and 13 in a row at Staples Center. They used an efficient night from Bryant, five other double-digit scorers and 16 3-pointers to keep their dominance going.
Antawn Jamison had 17 points and eight rebounds, while fellow reserves Jodie Meeks and Steve Blake chipped in 16 and 13 points, respectively, in the win.
"We've had enough time together where we've turned a corner and we're making improvement instead of continually taking steps back," said Lakers guard Steve Nash, who finished with 10 points and seven assists.
J.J. Barea paced Minnesota with 20 points, but it wasn't enough to snap the club's three-game slide. Luke Ridnour added 19 points, and Ricky Rubio totaled 13 points, 13 assists and eight boards in the setback.
"We just didn't have enough tonight," Minnesota coach Rick Adelman admitted. "They shot the ball really well and Kobe [Bryant] pretty much dominated the game."
Bryant shot 13-of-22 from the field and showed he was on top of his game in the opening minute when he drove the baseline and threw down a vintage one- handed slam over Nikola Pekovic.
Nash also got out to a fast start, scoring seven points on a 9-2 run that gave the Lakers a 16-6 lead less than five minutes in.
Los Angeles held a 28-22 after the first quarter and used Bryant's second straight 11-point frame to take a 57-47 cushion into halftime.
Bryant scored 11 again in the third, his last two coming on a fadeaway just before the buzzer to give the hosts a 91-75 advantage.
The outcome was never in doubt over the final 12 minutes.
Minnesota last beat the Lakers on March 6, 2007 ... Pekovic had eight points in the opening quarter, but did not play the rest of the game due to an abdominal strain ... Lakers center Dwight Howard totaled 11 points and a game- high 13 rebounds.
03/01 02:43:25 ET