Kobe Bryant had 26 points and five assists as the Los Angeles Lakers pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves 98-86 on Sunday.
Pau Gasol had 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, Andrew Bynum added 14 points and nine rebounds and Trevor Ariza scored 14 points for the Lakers.
The win was the 13th in the last 15 games for the Lakers, whose 20-3 record is the second-best in the NBA behind Boston’s 22-2 mark, but it wasn’t very impressive. The Lakers won despite being outrebounded 53-46. They forced 17 turnovers while committing 10 themselves and shot 44.7 percent to Minnesota’s 36.1 percent.
Al Jefferson had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Minnesota. The Timberwolves (4-19) lost their ninth straight game and fourth in a row since Kevin McHale took over as coach last Monday.
HORNETS 99, RAPTORS 91
At Toronto, David West scored 29 points and James Posey made six three-pointers and had 20 points as New Orleans beat Toronto for its eighth win in 10 games.
Rasual Butler added 16 points, and Chris Paul had 12 points and 12 assists for the Hornets, 12-of-33 from three-point range. Chris Bosh had 25 points for Toronto.
SPURS 109, THUNDER 104
At San Antonio, Tony Parker scored 22 points and Tim Duncan had 20 points and 12 rebounds in San Antonio’s sixth straight victory. Matt Bonner added 17 points.
In Sunday’s other game, it was:
• Grizzlies 102, Heat 86