LOS ANGELES, March 1 (UPI) -- Kobe Bryant led the way with 33 points Thursday and the Los Angeles Lakers steadily pulled away to defeat Minnesota 116-94.
The Lakers won for the fourth time in five games in their bid to earn a playoff berth. They are one game below the .500 mark and two games behind Houston for the eighth and final position in the race to make the postseason.
Los Angeles hit 53 percent of its shots from the field and went 16-of-32 during a busy night from beyond the 3-point line. Bryant was 13-of-22 while playing 37 minutes.
The Timberwolves, who have lost four in a row, were paced by J.J. Barea with 22 points.