Lakers 120, Timberwolves 117: Kobe Bryant scored 31 points and Dwight Howard collected 25 points and 16 rebounds as visiting Los Angeles snapped a three-game losing streak with its 22nd consecutive win over Minnesota.
Antawn Jamison added 18 points off the bench and Pau Gasol scored 17 for the Lakers, who have won their last 11 games at Minnesota and swept the season series from the Timberwolves for the sixth consecutive campaign.
Nikola Pekovic collected 19 points and 16 rebounds and Dante Cunningham added 18 to lead eight players in double figures for Minnesota, which failed in its bid to record back-to-back wins for the first time since winning four straight from Dec. 7-15. The Timberwolves have not beaten Los Angeles since March 6, 2007.
The Lakers led by three after one quarter and held a 50-46 advantage at halftime before creating some breathing room in the third quarter. Bryant scored 16 of Los Angeles' 41 points in the quarter to help the Lakers extend the margin to 91-79 going to the fourth.
The Timberwolves chipped away at the lead and got as close as 117-115 on Cunningham's basket with 11 seconds left, but Steve Nash hit a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game, and Minnesota's rally ran out of time.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Lakers F Metta World Peace needs surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and will miss at least six weeks, the team announced Wednesday. … Bryant (31,385) needs 35 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) for fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list. … Minnesota dropped to 2-34 when trailing after three quarters.