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Associated Press, Published February 01 2013

Gasol's start sparks Lakers to victory over Wolves

+MINNEAPOLIS – Pau Gasol had 22 points and 12 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup and Kobe Bryant nearly had a triple-double in leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 111-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Bryant had 17 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and Steve Nash added 17 points and seven assists for the Lakers, who played without Dwight Howard due to a sore right shoul-der. They have won four of their last five games and beat the Wolves for the 20th straight time, the longest active streak in the NBA.

Alexey Shved scored 18 points and Ricky Rubio had nine points and seven assists for the Timber-wolves, who lost their sixth straight game. They trailed by 29 in the second quarter, but climbed within four in the fourth quarter.

L.A. Lakers 37 31 17 26 – 111

Minnesota 24 29 23 24 – 100

L.A. LAKERS (111): World Peace 2-11 1-2 6, Clark 6-15 0-0 13, Gasol 8-15 5-5 22, Nash 6-9 2-2 17, Bryant 4-13 8-10 17, Blake 4-7 0-0 10, Jamison 7-15 3-4 18, Meeks 2-7 2-2 8. Totals 39-92 21-25 111.

MINNESOTA (100): Kirilenko 5-8 1-2 12, Williams 6-14 1-4 15, Pekovic 6-13 2-5 14, Rubio 4-9 1-2 9, Ridnour 2-7 0-0 4, Shved 6-16 1-2 18, Barea 6-10 0-1 14, Cunningham 3-8 0-0 6, Gelabale 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 3-4 2-2 8. Totals 41-89 8-18 100.

3-Point Goals- L.A. Lakers 12-32 (Nash 3-3, Blake 2-5, Meeks 2-7, Gasol 1-1, Jamison 1-3, Clark 1-3, Bryant 1-4, World Peace 1-6), Minnesota 10-22 (Shved 5-11, Barea 2-4, Williams 2-4, Kirilenko 1-2, Ridnour 0-1). Fouled Out- None. Rebounds- L.A. Lakers 66 (Gasol, Bryant 12), Minnesota 49 (Williams, Pekovic 9). Assists- L.A. Lakers 27 (Bryant 8), Minnesota 23 (Rubio 7). Total Fouls- L.A. Lakers 14, Minnesota 18. A- 18,547 (19,356).