Gasol’s start sparks Lakers to victory over Wolves

Topics: From the Wires,

Gasol's start sparks Lakers to victory over WolvesMinnesota Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio left, of Spain, falls to the floor after a called charge on Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) (Credit: AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Pau Gasol had 22 points and 12 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup and Kobe Bryant nearly had a triple-double in leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 111-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Bryant had 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists and Steve Nash added 17 points and seven assists for the Lakers, who played without Dwight Howard due to a sore right shoulder. They have won four of their last five games and beat the Wolves for the 20th straight time, the longest active streak in the NBA.

Alexey Shved scored 18 points and Ricky Rubio had nine points and seven assists for the Timberwolves, who lost their sixth straight game. They trailed by 29 in the second quarter, but climbed within four in the fourth quarter.

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