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Lakers 99, Timberwolves 94: Kobe Bryant Leads Lakers To Hard Fought Win

The Los Angeles Lakers got absolutely murdered on the defensive boards tonight, but still managed to pull away from Minnesota, defeating the Timberwolves 99-94 at Staples Center. The win moved the Lakers to 8-0 on the season, the first time they have started a season with eight straight wins since 1997-199 8. This is the third time in franchise history that the Lakers have started a season 8-0.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 33 points, scoring 23 of his 33 in the first half. Pau Gasol scored 18 points and  had 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 44.9% on the night. The Lakers had 18 turnovers on the night.

The Timberwolves took advantage of the Lakers on the glass tonight, collecting a whopping 26 offensive rebounds on 57 missed field goals. Kevin Love led the way with 23 points and a career-high 24 boards. In addition to being an NBA season high in rebounding this year, it was the second 20-20 game of Love's career, joining last March 28 when he had 23 points and 22 rebounds against Phoenix. Minnesota had 27 turnovers.

The Lakers played an all-bench lineup of Steve Blake, Shannon Brown, Luke Walton, Matt Barnes, and Theo Ratliff to start both the second and fourth quarters. The full second unit played about three minutes in each case. The Renegades, as the bench has been called by coach Phil Jackson, combined for 18 points on the night, below their season average of 31.6 points per game.

The Lakers have won all six games at Staples Center this season, and have won 18 of their last 19 at home dating back to last season, including the playoffs. The Lakers next play in Denver Thursday night against the Nuggets, in a nationally televised game on TNT.

For more Lakers news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.