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NBA Schedule: Timberwolves Head Out West To Battle Lakers

(Sports Network) - It's best versus worst in the Western Conference at Staples Center tonight as the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers shoot for their 12th straight win over the hapless Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Lakers, who are one of only two unbeaten teams left in the NBA along with the New Orleans Hornets, improved to 7-0 on Sunday when Pau Gasol recorded his fourth career triple-double with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, leading Los Angeles to a 121-96 rout over the Portland Trail Blazers in Hollywood.

Lamar Odom added 21 points and 12 boards for the Lakers, who shot 54.9 percent and had seven players -- including all five starters -- finish in double- figures.

"We had more energy tonight," Gasol said. "We're taking it game-by-game. We're not thinking about a record. I'm happy we're winning, otherwise the triple- double is meaningless."

The Lakers have started 8-0 or better just twice in their storied history, in 1997-98 when they raced out to a franchise-record 11-0 mark, and in 1987-88 when they opened 8-0 on their way to the NBA championship.

The Wolves, meanwhile, fell to a dismal 1-6 and 0-4 on the road Sunday with a 120-94 blowout loss at the hands of previously winless Houston. Luis Scola ended with 24 points and Kevin Martin added 21 to lead the Rockets in that game.

Kevin Love had 16 points and 16 boards to pace the Timberwolves, who have dropped five in a row overall. Nikola Pekovic had 12 points and 11 boards off the bench for Minnesota while Michael Beasley had 15 points and Corey Brewer contributed 10.

"We continue to make mistakes in areas where we've worked on it since training camp," said Minnesota head coach Kurt Rambis. "They're not together. They're not unified as a team yet. We're still making simple mistakes on pick-and-roll coverages that we see every single day."

Minnesota, which has dropped eight straight at Staples Center, is a miserable 3-35 dating back to Feb. 9 of last season, and has lost 40 of its 45 contests on the road since the beginning of last year.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.