Can LA Lakers Come Together, Find Winning Chemistry on the Road?

The Los Angeles Lakers are running out of time to make their final push toward a postseason berth.

In order to salvage what's become one of the most disastrous seasons in the history of professional sports, they'll have to find success in an area that's eluded them all season.

Friday night's 111-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves inside the Target Center in Minneapolis gave the Lakers just their sixth win in 22 road games. It was also the second game of a season-deciding seven-game venture away from the Staples Center, a trip that began with Wednesday's frustrating 92-86 defeat at the hands of the lowly Phoenix Suns.

The Timberwolves might not be the best barometer, though, considering the Lakers' dominance in the teams' meetings:

Lakers have won 20 straight games vs Timberwolves. That's the longest active win streak for any team vs a single opponent

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 2, 2013 Still, it wasn't the win itself that rejuvenated the fanbase. It was the way the Lakers notched the victory.

Thanks to another stat sheet-stuffing performance from Kobe Bryant (17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists), the Lakers emerged victorious for the fourth time in their last five games. His effort improved the team to 7-2 when he's dished at least at eight assists, and it pushed Bryant into previously uncharted waters:

Kobe Bryant has 8+ assists in 5 straight games for the 1st time in his career.

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 2, 2013 Bryant has forced his teammates to elevate their games, no longer simply giving them a front-row seat at the Kobe scoring show:

Blake on TWC on KBs new role: "kind of just makes everyone play a little bit harder b/c they know they’re going to touch the basketball."

— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) February 2, 2013 With Dwight Howard still bothered...

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