Jodie Meeks, Nikola Pekovic, Robert Sacre

Lakers guard Jodie Meeks tries to help center Robert Sacre stop a driving by Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic (14) in the first half Friday night at Staples Center. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times / December 20, 2013)

Playing without their top three point guards and All-Star Kobe Bryant, the Lakers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 104-91, at Staples Center on Friday night.

Nick Young led the Lakers with 25 points, hitting four of six three-point shots. Pau Gasol neared a triple-double with 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

Gasol was huge for the Lakers in the fourth quarter with the game still in question, scoring seven consecutive points to push the Lakers ahead by six.

Starting at point guard, Xavier Henry also scored 21, dishing four assists while committing only three turnovers.

Kevin Love scored 25 points and had 13 rebounds to lead the Wolves, who shot only 34.7% from the field. Nikola Pekovic contributed 22 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.

Turnovers were a problem for both teams. The Lakers had 19 gaffes, including seven from Gasol and five from Young.

Wesley Johnson played some backup point guard for the Lakers, dishing five assists. Jodie Meeks scored 17 and had four assists.

Point guard Kendall Marshall, who was signed by the team earlier in the day, did not play.  Steve Blake (elbow), Steve Nash (back), Jordan Farmar (hamstring) and Bryant (knee) were all sidelined.

The Lakers shot 53.8% from the field but the Wolves dominated the offensive glass with 22 to just seven for the home team.

The Lakers, who even their record at 13-13, avenged a 113-90 loss to Minnesota (13-14) on Nov. 10 at Staples, tying the season series at one. They also overtake the Wolves  in the standings, climbing to 10th place in the Western Conference.

The Lakers will visit the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night in Oakland.

Minnesota will stay in Los Angeles for the weekend, playing the Clippers on Sunday.

Lakers 81, Timberwolves 76 (end of third quarter)

The Lakers reestablished a lead in the third quarter to forge ahead by five entering the final quarter.

Nick Young scored 19 points off the bench to lead the Lakers, who shot 58.9% as a team.

Kevin Love was the game's leading scorer with 25 points. He also has 12 rebounds. Minnesota shot only 38.6% from the field but had 15 offensive rebounds to just three for the Lakers.

Pau Gasol has 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as well as five turnovers.

As a team, the Lakers turned the ball over 17 times but the Wolves weren't far behind at 13.

Starting at point guard, Xavier Henry had 17 points with three assists and three turnovers.

Timberwolves 53, Lakers 51 (halftime)

Playing without a point guard proved to be difficult for the Lakers in the second quarter.