Kobe Bryant had 31 points, seven rebounds and eight assists while playing with a clear mask over his broken nose and the Los Angeles Lakers returned from the All-Star break with their 17th consecutive win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 104-85 on Wednesday night.
Bryant didn’t miss a game after Dwyane Wade broke his nose and gave him a concussion with a hard foul in the All-Star game Sunday. After getting clearance to play about an hour before tipoff, Bryant wore a Richard Hamilton-style mask that didn’t appear to affect the NBA scoring leader, who made nine of 10 free throws through the plastic.
Pau Gasol scored 15 points and Andrew Bynum had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers, who improved to 15-1 at home since losing their Christmas opener.
Michael Beasley and Martell Webster scored 14 points apiece as the Timberwolves played the middle game of a back-to-back-to-back set without Kevin Love, who sat out with an apparent case of the flu.
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