Spurs beats Lakers on Bryant’s return
Charlotte 80-85 Memphis
Atlanta 97-92 Boston
Cleveland 98-90 New York
Dallas 104-94 Golden State
Sacramento 92-103 Oklahoma City
SAN ANTONIO The San Antonio Spurs’ stars made sure Kobe Bryant’s return wasn’t a triumphant one. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all scored at least 20 points to help San Antonio beat the Los Angeles Lakers 121-97 on Friday night and remain atop the Western Conference.
Bryant, who had missed the previous seven games with a bruised left shin, scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
The Lakers went 5-2 without the NBA’s scoring leader, but with only two games left in the regular season for Los Angeles, Bryant returned as he aims to get into a rhythm before the playoffs begin.
Bryant wore a black sock over his lower left leg, with a padded sleeve protecting the injured area. While the Spurs said after the game that he’s not the old Bryant just yet, he’s not so sure.
‘’I’m back now,’’ Bryant said. ‘’It took me a half. The second half, it felt like I was back in a good rhythm. The game just got away from us.’’
The Spurs (46-16) won their sixth straight game and remain a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City for the No. 1 seed in the West. The Lakers (40-24) missed a chance to clinch home court in the first round of the playoffs.