NBA: Los Angeles Lakers 104, Minnesota 85

March 1, 2012 at 1:08 AM
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LOS ANGELES, March 1 (UPI) -- Kobe Bryant, cleared by a neurologist prior to the game, scored 31 points Wednesday while sending the Los Angeles Lakers to a 104-85 win over Minnesota.

Bryant suffered a broken nose and a concussion during last Sunday's NBA All-Star Game. An examination Wednesday, however, revealed the discomfort Bryant had been feeling was related to a neck strain rather than the concussion.

He took the court against the Timberwolves wearing a protective mask and still managed to make 11-of-23 shots from the field and 9-of-10 from the foul line.

Los Angeles led by six at halftime and then outscored Minnesota by 18 in the third quarter. The Lakers moved within a half game of the Los Angeles Clippers for the lead in the Pacific Division.

Minnesota had a two-game winning streak snapped and fell back to .500 for the season.

Pau Gasol added 15 points for Los Angeles and Andrew Bynum had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Martell Webster and Michael Beasley both scored 14 points off the bench for Minnesota.

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