Preview: Monday's 119-108 loss at Denver ended a three-game winning streak for a Lakers team that has beaten the Timberwolves 20 consecutive times. That's a streak that dates to 2007, when Kevin Garnett played in Minnesota. It's also the Wolves' longest current losing streak against a single franchise. At 28-30, the Lakers trail Houston by three games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. ... This is the second of three meetings between the teams this season. The Lakers won the first one 111-100 on Feb. 1 at Target Center. Pau Gasol started at center for injured Dwight Howard and scored 22 points in that one. ...This is the Wolves' third appearance this season on TNT. They are 1-1 so far with a victory over Oklahoma City and loss to the L.A. Clippers, both at home.
Player to watch: Lakers G Kobe Bryant last week won the West's player of the week award for the 31st time in his career. He averaged 31.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6 assists while leading his team to a 3-0 record that week. He has won the West's POW 29 times and the NBA POW twice back in the day. That's the most in franchise history. Magic Johnson won 18 NBA POW awards back in the day when there weren't separate awards for the two conferences.
Injuries: Wolves F Andrei Kirilenko is out because of a strained calf sustained in the first quarter of Tuesday's 84-83 overtime loss at Phoenix. F Kevin Love (hand surgery), F Chase Budinger (knee surgery), G Brandon Roy (knees), G Malcolm Lee (knee, hip surgeries) are out. Lakers F Pau Gasol (torn plantar fascia), F Jordan Hill (hip surgery) are out and C Howard (torn shoulder labrum) is expected to play.