MINNEAPOLIS - Kobe Bryant had 31 points and seven assists and Dwight Howard had 25 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 120-117 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night, their 22nd straight win over the Timberwolves.
The Wolves had a chance to tie the game with just seconds left, but a Ricky Rubio three-pointer came up short. The replay appeared to show Rubio hit on the army by Bryant, but no call was made.
Pau Gasol added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who had lost three in a row and were playing their first game without defensive stopper Metta World Peace. He will have surgery on a torn meniscus on Thursday, leaving the Lakers to chase the playoffs without him.
Nikola Pekovic had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who haven't beaten the Lakers since March 2007. That was before injured All-Star Kevin Love was even in college.