Sunday, December 17, 2017

NBA takes Bryant's side on foul

Lakers star Kobe Bryant said Dahntay Jones' dangerous defense left him with a sprained left ankle, and the NBA agreed.

Now, the Lakers are hoping the injury doesn't keep their star away from a playoff push.

Bryant spent Thursday getting several hours of treatment on what he called the worst sprained ankle of his 17 NBA seasons, hoping to be healthy for tonight's game at Indiana.

Although the Lakers offered no update on his condition after saying Bryant was out "indefinitely," the NBA acknowledged Jones should have been called for a foul on the play in Atlanta.

Bryant was hurt when he landed on Jones' foot with 4 seconds left after missing a potential tying jumper in a 96-92 loss to the Hawks on Wednesday.

Bryant was furious about Jones' tactics in sliding underneath him while he hung in the air. Bryant's tweet included a hashtag: "cleanupthegame."

The NBA later said replay confirmed Bryant was fouled.

"After review at the league office, video replay confirmed that referees missed a foul call on Jones as he challenged Bryant's shot and did not give him the opportunity to land cleanly back on the floor," said the statement on the NBA's website. "Bryant should have been granted two free throws."

Bryant's shot would have tied the score if he made it, which means the no-call played a role in costing the Lakers a victory in their playoff push. The Lakers (34-32) are a half-game ahead of Utah (33-32) for the eighth playoff spot in the West.

Bryant was particularly upset at Jones, tweeting: "He knows what he did and anyone with half a brain can see it. I don't want it to happen to anyone else!"

Jones appeared on ESPN on Thursday to say he is not dirty.

"Yes, it was a fadeaway, but when you deal with shooters or high-profile scorers you have to try to get as close to them as possible to contest jump shots," Jones said.

The two have a history. Jones stuck out his leg to trip Bryant during Game 4 of the 2009 Western Conference finals while Jones was with the Nuggets.

Game highlights: Tim Duncan had 28 points and 19 rebounds and the host Spurs beat the Mavericks 92-91, sweeping their season series for the first time in 15 years.

Hobbled Anthony: The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, who scored nine before leaving in the third quarter of a 117-94 loss at Denver late Wednesday, returned to New York to have his balky right knee drained. Anthony struggled in his first game in Denver since being traded two years ago after his knee started "tightening up." He is questionable for Sunday against the Clippers.

Spurs 92, Mavericks 91

DALLAS (91): Crowder 2-3 0-0 5, Nowitzki 6-16 6-6 21, Kaman 3-6 0-0 6, M.James 4-10 0-0 10, Mayo 4-11 2-2 10, Collison 6-8 0-0 12, Brand 3-8 1-1 7, B.Wright 5-9 0-1 10, Carter 4-12 0-0 10. Totals 37-83 9-10 91.

SAN ANTONIO (92): Leonard 5-14 1-1 12, Duncan 12-20 4-5 28, Splitter 3-9 2-3 8, Joseph 2-3 0-0 4, Green 3-9 0-0 8, Ginobili 2-9 3-4 7, Diaw 4-6 1-2 9, Neal 6-13 2-2 16, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Blair 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-84 13-17 92.

Dallas 17 24 25 25— 91

San Antonio 22 28 23 19— 92

3-Point GoalsDallas 8-19 (Nowitzki 3-5, M.James 2-4, Carter 2-6, Crowder 1-1, Mayo 0-1, B.Wright 0-1, Collison 0-1), San Ant. 5-13 (Neal 2-3, Green 2-4, Leonard 1-5, Ginobili 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsDallas 41 (Nowitzki 11), San Ant. 57 (Duncan 19). AssistsDallas 21 (M.James 5), San Antonio 31 (Ginobili 9). Total FoulsDallas 23, San Antonio 10. A18,581.

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