The game plan for L.A. heading into Minnesota was rather simple: use your far superior size inside to expose one of the league’s smallest front lines.
That’s precisely what the Lakers did.
Behind Andrew Bynum’s 27 points and 15 rebounds, plus 21 and nine from Pau Gasol, the Lakers offensively pounded a Minnesota team that never gave up in a rather wild ballgame in which L.A. hit its season high in points.
Minnesota, who’d won 10-of-13 games in January, simply didn’t have an answer to L.A.’s length, but stuck in the game behind All-Star snub Al Jefferson’s 34 points and 13 rebounds, plus 27 points from Randy Foye.
Kobe Bryant tossed in 30 points on 12-of-23 shooting, plus five assists and eight boards for the Lakers, but provided a brief scare when he went off the floor holding his hand late in the third after a dunk. No worries though, as he had simply popped a blister that was bleeding, forcing Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti to tape him up prior to later insertion in the fourth quarter.
Trevor Ariza played well after suffering a concussion in Tuesday night’s game against Charlotte, going for eight points (including two run-stopping threes), five boards, two assists, a block and his traditional late steal.
A few numbers before the squad heads to Memphis for the tail end of a back-to-back.
Lakers with at least 20 points: Pau Gasol (21), Andrew Bynum (27) and Kobe Bryant (30).
Straight double-doubles for Bynum, who has clearly flipped on the proverbial light bulb. That’s Bynum’s 16th double-double of the season.
Lakers in double-figures, including Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, Luke Walton and Derek Fisher.
Points for Bynum in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting and 5-of-6 from the line.
Double-doubles this season for Al Jefferson, who put up 34 and 13 in 42 minutes.
Points in the pain through three quarters for Minnesota. The season high for a Wolves opponent this season is 60 (Jan. 16, Phoenix). L.A. finished with 50 in the lane.
Shooting percentage for the Wolves, compared with 50.5 percent from L.A.
Second half points for the Lakers, the most the Wolves have given up in one half this season. In the first half, L.A. scored 64 points, which had been the most conceded by Minnesota before the second half barrage.