Emotional Bryant Appears to Tear Achilles, Lakers Win
Kobe Bryant fought back tears after a game in which he appeared to tear his left Achilles Heel on a drive to the basket with 3:08 to go in the game Friday. He somehow managed to come back on the court to hit two free throws and tie the game 109-109. The Lakers managed to win the final three minutes of the game without him to stay one game ahead of the Utah Jazz for the final spot with two games to play, but may need to win both remaining games without him to make the playoffs since the Jazz owns the tie-breaker.
Stephen Curry attempted to score his 50th point of the game Friday on a 75-foot shot that arced perfectly before going off the rim to let the Lakers hold onto a 118-116 win. The Lakers won with the help of Bryant fighting through two other injuries en route to 34 points before the third injury.
Curry had come back from an ankle injury to beat the Lakers just over two weeks ago, and appeared on course to do it again when he led Golden State to a 107-98 lead. The Lakers were under pressure from the Jazz, who own the tie-breaker over the Lakers and won behind 40 points from Al Jefferson earlier Friday.
However, Kobe Bryant seemed to weather the storm. He went down hard with a knee injury in the third quarter, but continued to fight through, hitting two deep 3-pointers to spark a 9-0 run that tied the game 107-107.
After a Jarrett Jack 6-footer on a drive in traffic, Bryant started to drive to the basket only to go down with a left foot injury. After the Lakers called timeout and managed to help Bryant off the court, he was able to come back on the court just long enough to hit the two free throws to head to the locker room with 34 points and the Lakers left to fend for their playoff lives in a 109-109 game with 3:08 to play.
With Bryant in the locker room, Pau Gasol hit a great driving layup, Dwight Howard slammed home a dunk, and Steve Blake hit two free throws to give the Lakers a 117-116 lead without their hero.
Gasol then had a chance to expand the lead with a short jumper with 11 seconds to go, but David Lee got a piece of his shot and Jack dove through to take the defensive rebound away from a couple of Lakers and call timeout just before crashing to the floor. The Lakers double teamed Curry perfectly, but he threw a perfect pass Carl Landry 17 feet from the basket only to have his shot rim off and Howard take control with a huge rebound with 1.5 second left.
Howard hit one of two free throws at the other end of the court before Curry threw up the final heave.
. Curry’s two free gave him 47 points and tied the game 111-111.