MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Pau Gasol returned to the Los Angeles starting lineup Friday and celebrated with 22 points in lifting the Lakers over Minnesota 111-100.
Los Angeles won on the road for the first time in nine attempts and recorded its 20th consecutive victory over the Timberwolves.
Gasol has been coming off the bench since missing five games with a concussion, but was put back in a starting role with Dwight Howard out of action. Gasol added 12 rebounds and helped the Lakers to a 37-point first period.
Los Angeles led by as many as 26, but the lead dwindled to four before the Lakers pulled away in the fourth quarter. They are 1-1 on their current seven-game road trip and have won four out of five overall.
Howard returned to Los Angeles Friday to have further treatment on his sore right shoulder.
Minnesota, which has lost six in a row, received 18 points from Alexey Shved.