MINNEAPOLIS -- Well, it happened. Kobe Bryant surpassed Michael Jordan (32,292 points) on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, and now the Los Angeles Lakers star sits alone in third place behind Karl Malone (36,298) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) after scoring 26 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves here Sunday night. As for the game, it was another nail-biter -- and another Lakers win, their season-high third straight. They have improved to 8-16.
Play of the game: It would be easy to point to a free throw that Bryant made in the second quarter to pass Jordan, but as far as the outcome was concerned, his 26-foot 3-pointer with 1:02 left was a much bigger shot. Bryant’s go-ahead trey gave the Lakers a 97-94 lead and they were able to hang on from there. Bryant didn’t have a great night, going 7-of-20 from the field in 35 minutes.
UCLA connection: When these teams last met, a former UCLA Bruin torched the Lakers, as Timberwolves rookie Zach LaVine went for 28 points. This time, Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad, another former Bruin, scored a game-high 28 points off the bench on 12-of-21 shooting.
Surprise performance: Lakers forward Carlos Boozer seems to be adjusting well to his new role on the bench. He recorded his second straight double-double, posting 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds.
Stat of the night: The Lakers won despite being outscored 54-38 in the paint.