Lakers down Timberwolves
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2006
LOS ANGELES (AP) &8212; Andrew Bynum had 20 points, 14 rebounds and some key plays down the stretch Tuesday night in the Los Angeles Lakers&8217; 95-88 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kobe Bryant, in the third game of his comeback from last summer&8217;s knee surgery, had 17 points while taking only seven shots, and added six assists in the Lakers&8217; well-balanced scoring.
Lamar Odom chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Luke Walton had 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
The 19-year-old Bynum, who has been working under the tutelage of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, had his career highs in points and rebounds, and he also blocked three shots &8212; including swatting away a shot under the basket by Mike James in the final minute.
Bynum finished 6-of-9 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line, including 3-of-4 in the final 47 seconds as the Lakers held on.
The 7-foot, 285-pound Bynum showed he can jump when he went high off the floor to block Ricky Davis&8217; shot on a drive to the basket with four minutes left in the third quarter. The crowd cheered wildly.
Kevin Garnett led Minnesota with 26 points and nine rebounds, and rookie Randy Foye had 12 points.
The Lakers opened a 72-52 lead with a 21-7 run over the first 7:22 of the third quarter. But the Timberwolves came back to pull within 89-86 with 1:25 remaining before Odom hit a running jumper and Bynum made his free throws to make it 94-86 with 42 seconds left.
Odom made the shot of the game, chasing down a deflected pass on the right side near the halfcourt line, then whirling and throwing up a desperation shot as the shot clock ticked down. It went in, giving the Lakers an 83-67 lead with 9:46 remaining.
Odom&8217;s layup gave Los Angeles a 33-23 lead 3:39 into the second quarter, their biggest margin of the first half. The Lakers were up 51-45 at halftime, led by Bryant&8217;s 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
Bynum had eight points and seven rebounds for Los Angeles in the first half.