NBA: Love's 31 helps Timberwolves inflict 7th straight loss on injury-plagued Lakers

MINNEAPOLIS (AFP) - Minnesota's Kevin Love scored 31 points and pulled down 17 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves to a 109-99 National Basketball Association (NBA) victory on Tuesday over the injury ravaged Los Angeles Lakers.

Kevin Martin tied a season-high with 32 points for the Timberwolves, who handed the Lakers a seventh straight defeat.

The Lakers welcomed two key players back from injury in Steve Nash and Steve Blake, but saw Jodie Meeks depart with an ankle injury less than two minutes into the contest and Jordan Hill exit with a possible concussion at the end of the first quarter.

The last time the Lakers endured a seven-game losing streak was March 2-15, 2007.

Both Nash and Blake were in the Lakers' starting lineup. Nash, sidelined since November 10 with lower back nerve pain, played 24 minutes and had seven points and nine assists.

Blake who had been sidelined since mid-December with a torn ligament in his right elbow was held scoreless in 32 minutes on the floor but had six assists and five boards.

The Lakers are still without superstar Kobe Bryant. He returned to action in December after 7 1/2 months recovering from Achilles tendon surgery.

But Bryant played only six games before suffering a broken bone in his left knee. Last week the Lakers said Bryant was still experiencing pain and swelling in the knee and would be reassessed in another three weeks.

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