The margin for error might be tightening for the Lakers, and they still have a substantial bit of work to do, but at least one resident philosopher has it all figured out.

Of course, that would be Metta World Peace, who was asked before Thursday's game what the Lakers needed to do to reach the playoffs.

"Ask the other teams, 'Can you please lose? Please lose so we can go to the playoffs,'" World Peace said. "And then we have to win. That's one thing I do know."

The Lakers got plenty of help Wednesday, when three teams in their vicinity in the standings - Portland, Houston and Utah - all lost.

So the Lakers' work was in their hands against the Minnesota Timberwolves and they cruised to a 116-94 victory at Staples Center.

And they did it in rather unconventional fashion against the height-challenged Timberwolves, settling for outside shots instead of pounding in the paint.

Well, except for a rare early game foray for a baseline dunk by Kobe Bryant, who scored 33 points before sitting out the fourth quarter.

"That was a surprise for me, too," Bryant said. "Normally at the start of a game it takes a little time to loosen everything up despite the warmups."

Hey, sometimes it works. The Lakers hit 16 of their 32 3-point shots, with Bryant going 4 for 8 from long distance. He also had five rebounds and five assists to go with three more dunks.