Bryant scored 39 points and Shaquille O'Neal had 32 points and 10 rebounds as the Lakers defeated Minnesota 117-98 to open their first-round series Sunday.
"You can tell by our intensity out there,'' forward Robert Horry said, "the playoffs is a totally different game.''
Bryant scored 29 points in the first half, on 12-of-16 shooting. The Lakers led the entire game, shot 55 percent from the floor and went 10-for-19 from 3-point range.