Throughout this underachieving season filled with inconsistency and injuries, one theme remains painfully clear.

The Lakers haven't met an opponent they can beat handily.

It appeared they found the perfect candidate to end their road struggles with the Minnesota Timberwolves losing 19 consecutive times to the Lakers and dropping nine of their last 11 contests prior to Friday's game.

The Lakers' 111-100 victory Friday over Minnesota at Target Center may have satisfied the bottom-line result. L.A. snapped its eight-game road losing streak and, at 21-26, remained three games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

"I'm happy," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We have to get wins and we got one."

Still, Friday's win hardly improves the Lakers' outlook on their seven-game trip.

It initially appeared the Lakers hardly sweated Dwight Howard's absence. He flew back to Los Angeles earlier Friday to undergo a platelet rich plasma (PRP) procedure on his sore right shoulder.

But for the third consecutive game, the Lakers squandered a double-digit lead against a team remaining low in the Western Conference standings.