MINNEAPOLIS - Kobe Bryant scored 34 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 105-102 victory over Minnesota on Friday, a defeat made more painful for the Timberwolves by a late injury to Ricky Rubio.
Bryant surpassed a remarkable 29,000 career points with 12 in the first half, but the milestone was less important than the win after two disappointing defeats to lowly opponents in Detroit and Washington.
For Minnesota, the real blow may not be felt until Saturday, when rising star Rubio has an MRI exam on his injured left knee.
The young Spaniard fell to the court grasping his knee after a collision with Bryant with 16.4 seconds left in the game.
Teammates helped him to the locker room at the end of the game.
The big concern, not only for the rest of the NBA season but also with European champion Spain's London Olympic challenge looming, is the possibility of damaged ligaments that would require lengthy recovery.
"I don't even know what he did," said Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman.
"I hope next game he'll be with us," added center Nikola Pekovic. "That's all I'm going to say."
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