Mar 16, 2012, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) wears a mask to protect a nasal fracture during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Timberwolves, 97-92. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Lakers beat Timberwolves 97-92


The Luke Ridnour watch continues, as the former Oregon Ducks star continues to rep the U of O well as the Minnesota Timberwolves point guard in the place of Ricky Rubio. Kobe Bryant was devastated after the Los Angeles Lakers traded point guard and close friend Derek Fisher, but Bryant had 28 points and went 5-8 from downtown to lead the Lakers over the Timberwolves 97-92.

Ridnour had 12 points on 5-12 shooting, but the pinpoint passer made his biggest contribution to the game through 11 assists and even added four rebounds. He never turned the ball over and helped Timberwolves- and former UCLA- superstar Kevin Love put up 27 points. Nikolai Pekovic added 20 points of his own, albeit on 6-18 shooting.

On the Lakers, Gasol and Bynum matched Love and Pek with double-doubles of their own, with each of them netting over 15 points with far less attempts. Point guard Steve Blake started in this game and had six assists with no turnovers, but he missed the only two shots he took (both three-pointers). The Lakers are now 19-2 at home. Also of note are the 17 points that quality bench forward Matt Barnes posted on 3-4 3-point shooting (6-9 overall). He also chipped in defensively with two steals and one block.

The +/- note of the night is that the Lakers outscored the Timberwolves by 15 points when Andrew Bynum was on the floor. The Timberwolves were just 18.2% from downtown, with Kevin Love and Martell Webster the only two players to make 3-pointers on the Timberwolves (4-22 as a team). Meanwhile, L.A. hit 10 threes on the same number of attempts and also had 12 blocks compared to just two by Minnesota. Every starter except Blake had at least two blocks, with Gasol contributing three packs for the home team.

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Derek Fisher Kevin Love Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Luke Ridnour Martell Webster Matt Barnes Minnesota Timberwolves Nikolai Pekovic Oregon Ducks Basketball Pau Gasol Ricky Rubio Steve Blake UCLA Bruins