MINNEAPOLIS — The Lakers are halfway to clinching the best record in the Western Conference. It’s been ugly at times tonight, but the Lakers dropped a defensive hammer on the Timberwolves in the first half. The Lakers held Minnesota to 34 points on 37.5 percent shooting. Pau Gasol scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Lakers. Coach Phil Jackson played everybody available to him and everybody contributed something. Jackson promised to spread around the minutes after the team arrived in the Twin Cities around 5 a.m. from Denver, where they lost to the Nuggets on Thursday.