Kobe Bryant, wearing a mask for the first time in his career, had 10 points and five assists in the first half, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 50-44 halftime lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center. The Lakers have beaten the Timberwolves 16 straight times, including 10 straight in Los Angeles.
Bryant scored 10 points in the first quarter as the Lakers built a 26-11 lead. However, Minnesota used a 9-0 run into the second quarter to trim the lead. Andrew Bynum added nine points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 53.7% from the field in the first half (22 for 41).
La Mirada High School star Derrick Williams was inserted into the starting lineup one night after torching the Clippers for 27 points off the bench on 9-of-10 shooting, and scored seven points in the first half for Minnesota, who shot 41.3% (19 for 46) in the opening half. Kevin Love is out with flu-like symptoms.
Michael Beasley led the Timberwolves with eight points off the bench in the first half.
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