The two-time defending NBA champs improved to 2-0 on their current trek in Auburn Hills on Wednesday when Kobe Bryant scored 33 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out four assists to power the Lakers to a 103-90 victory over Detroit.
Pau Gasol added 25 points and 12 boards, while Lamar Odom chipped in 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who won their third straight visit to The Palace of Auburn Hills.
“We knew that we had to come out and play hard,” said forward Ron Artest about the Lakers’ mindset. “Even if you are down or up you still have to play hard. You always have to try and do the right thing, which is execute and stick to the game plan. We definitely stuck to the game plan tonight.”
Minnesota, meanwhile, is coming off a win over Los Angeles’ other team, the Clippers, on Wednesday. Michael Beasley hit the game-winning jumper with 2.3 seconds left in that one to lift the Timberwolves to a 113-111 victory at Target Center.
“I was waiting to see what they were going to do,” Beasley said of his game- winner. “I knew what I was going to do and knew if he let me get to the elbow it was trouble for them. I was just waiting to see if they were going to come with a double team. I went down and it went in.”
Beasley became the first Timberwolves player since Kevin Garnett in 1999-2000 to score at least 25 points in five straight games when he finished with a game-high 33 points. Kevin Love supplied 24 points and 14 rebounds and Corey Brewer added 14 points in a reserve role for Minnesota, which halted a two- game losing streak.
Luke Ridnour returned to the lineup after missing five games with a strained left hamstring and finished with 12 points and eight assists for the Wolves, while Darko Milicic added 11 points on 5-of-6 from the field.