NBA: Bryant injured in Lakers loss

LATE COLLISION::Kobe Bryant is out indefinitely for the Lakers, while the Houston Rockets’ Jeremy Lin scored 13 points as his team thrashed the Suns

AFP and AP, ATLANTA, Georgia

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 - Page 19

Kobe Bryant severely sprained his left ankle in the last minute of Wednesday night’s 96-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks and is out indefinitely, the Los Angeles Lakers announced.

Bryant tried to tie the game on a baseline jumper in the final seconds when he collided with Dahntay Jones and came down on his foot.

The 15-time NBA All-Star missed the shot and dropped to the court in pain. He eventually got up and walked off under his own power.

X-rays proved negative, but he was expected to be re-examined by team doctors yesterday.

Bryant shot 11-of-33 from the field against the Hawks and finished with 31 points on the night.

After the game, Bryant blasted Jones, saying that it was one of his signature shots and under normal circumstances he would never injure himself.

“It is a shot I am very comfortable taking,” Bryant said. “You can’t walk underneath shooters, man. That is a very dangerous play.”

Kyle Korver grabbed Bryant’s missed shot and made two free throws at the other end with just two seconds left to ice the win for the Hawks, who had lost four straight against the Lakers.

Korver finished with 15 points and Devin Harris scored 17 points.

Atlanta won for just the second time in eight games, despite missing Josh Smith and Jeff Teague.

ROCKETS 111, SUNS 81

In Houston, Texas, Donatas Motiejunas scored a career-high 19 points to lead five Houston starters in double figures.

James Harden scored 18, while Jeremy Lin added 13 points and six assists for the Rockets, who stayed in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference standings.

Wesley Johnson scored 10 of his 15 points in the first quarter for the Suns, who lost to Houston for just the fourth time in the past 14 meetings.

Luis Scola had four points and four rebounds in his first game in Houston since the Rockets designated him as their amnesty cut last summer.

Houston had all five starters in double figures for the 11th time this season.

GRIZZLIES 96, CLIPPERS 85

In Los Angeles, Marc Gasol scored 21 points and Tayshaun Prince added 18 as surging Memphis got their 14th victory in 15 games.

Mike Conley had 17 points and 11 assists, while Zach Randolph scored 13 points as the Grizzlies hung on in the fourth quarter of back-to-back games for their sixth straight victory.

Memphis followed up the previous night’s road win in Portland with a tenacious effort against the Clippers, who have lost three of five.

Memphis (44-19) are percentage points ahead of Los Angeles (45-21) for third place in the Western Conference, although the Clippers are the Pacific Division leaders.

Chris Paul had 24 points and nine assists, while Blake Griffin added 22 points for the Clippers, who won the clubs’ first two meetings this season.

NUGGETS 117, KNICKS 94

In Denver, Colorado, Carmelo Anthony’s return to the Pepsi Center was a flop as Wilson Chandler scored 24 points and Denver blew out ailing New York.

The Nuggets led by as many as 34 points on the way to winning their 10th straight game and the 14th straight at home.

It was was such a breeze that their starters did not play the fourth quarter.

Neither did Anthony, who left a couple of minutes into the second half when his balky right knee, which he acknowledged on Tuesday is not getting better, acted up. He scored just nine points on three-of-12 shooting.

Iman Shumpert led New York with 20 points.

CELTICS 112, RAPTORS 88

In Boston, Kevin Garnett scored 12 points, passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA’s career scoring list, and Paul Pierce joined him among the top 20 scorers in league history with 15 points to lead Boston.

Garnett needed four points to pass West (25,192 points) and Pierce entered the game nine points shy of equaling Charles Barkley (23,757) for 20th.

Garnett hit a bank shot with 10 minutes, 3 seconds left in the second quarter and received a standing ovation when his milestone was announced during a stoppage a few minutes later. Boston fans returned to their feet again in the third to recognize Pierce.

Jeff Green scored 20 to lead the Celtics, who ended a two-game slide and won their 10th straight at home.

Rudy Gay had 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 17 points for the Raptors, who have lost seven of nine.

Wednesday’s other results:

‧ Wizards 106, Bucks 93

‧ Pacers 107, Timberwolves 91

‧ Thunder 110, Jazz 87

‧ Kings 121, Bulls 79

‧ Warriors 105, Pistons 97