LOS ANGELES, March 19 (UPI) -- Paul Gasol put Los Angeles in front for good with 3:37 to go and touched off a game-closing 13-4 run Friday that gave the Lakers a 106-98 win over Minnesota.
Gasol led the Lakers with 25 points while Kobe Bryant played despite a sore ankle and had 18 points on 6-of-17 shooting.
Minnesota, seeking what would have been a very unexpected win, took a 94-93 lead on a jumper by Wesley Johnson with 3:54 remaining. The Lakers then embarked on their late-game run that featured a 3-pointer by Lamar Odom with 2:37 that put Los Angeles in front by six.
Los Angeles won for the 11th time in 12 games. Andrew Bynum contributed 10 points and 14 rebounds, but was ejected late in the contest.
Minnesota was led by Wesley Johnson with 29 points, a career high. Kevin Love had 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Lakers defeated the Timberwolves for the 15th straight time.