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Lakers Head To Minnesota Looking For Fifth Straight Win

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Lakers will invade the Twin Cities tonight aiming for their 14th consecutive win over the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers arrive in Minneapolis after securing a scrappy 90-87 win over fellow Western Conference contender Oklahoma City on Sunday. Pau Gasol led a balanced Lakers attack with 18 points and 11 rebounds in that one while Kevin Durant and James Harden both missed potential game-tying three's in the final seconds, as Los Angeles topped the Thunder for their fourth straight win since the All-Star break.

"We were fortunate to come away with that win," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Two shots like they had at the end of the game, (they were) good looks but we did the job in the second half defensively." Andrew Bynum added 16 points and 10 boards while Kobe Bryant scored 17 points and dished out seven assists for the Lakers, who topped the Thunder for the 14th time in 15 regular season meetings and improved to 21-11 as the visitor. Bryant also moved past Elvin Hayes for seventh on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

The Wolves, meanwhile, snapped a seven-game skid on Sunday when Kevin Love notched his NBA season-record 46th consecutive double-double with 37 points and 23 rebounds as Minnesota earned a 126-123 win over Golden State. Michael Beasley tallied 25 points and nine rebounds for the Timberwolves, who hadn't won since Feb. 8 when they beat Houston 112-108. Wesley Johnson added 17 points and seven rebounds while Luke Ridnour chipped in 13 points and five assists.

"Our defense was terrible in the first half," Love said. "We didn't play that great of a first half. We kept fighting in the second half. Some things didn't go our way in the fourth quarter, but we hit some big shots in the end." Love is now just five games away from matching Moses Malone's all-time record for consecutive double-doubles set from Dec. 29, 1978-Oct. 12, 1979.

The Lakers last lost to the Timberwolves in a double overtime thriller on March 6, 2007. The 13 straight wins in the series is their longest current winning streak over any opponent.