Posted April 04, 2013 on AP on Fox
Kobe Bryant gladly will deal with sore muscles from playing nearly every minute in order to help push the Los Angeles Lakers into the playoffs. Steve Nash could return from a hamstring issue for Friday night's home matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies, though, potentially easing the burden on the 34-year-old Bryant. "I feel sore right now. My back is a little sore and my hamstrings are a little sore," Bryant said after recording his 19th career triple-double with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists while playing all but 56 seconds of Tuesday's 101-81 win over Dallas. "... I just have to push through it a little bit right now. Hopefully we can get a game and get a little breathing room." Los Angeles (38-35), which leads Utah by one-half game for the Western Conference's final playoff spot, has won three of four. Bryant also played more than 47 minutes of Saturday's 103-98 victory at Sacramento after Nash was injured early in that contest before sitting out Tuesday. Metta World Peace also has been out after having surgery to repair a torn left meniscus. Coach Mike D'Antoni said he needs to monitor Bryant's minutes due to the upcoming schedule. The Lakers face the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday afternoon before a back-to-back - Tuesday versus New Orleans and Wednesday at Portland. Los Angeles then finishes with home games against Golden State, San Antonio and Houston. "We have to watch it because we have to play Friday and Sunday, so we've got to be careful," D'Antoni said. "Going forward we're going to try and get him some more time, get Steve back and get (Bryant) some more time (to rest)." Bryant got plenty of help Tuesday, as Dwight Howard posted his 14th straight double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds while Earl Clark added 17 points and 12 boards off the bench. "We have a tougher schedule, but I wouldn't have it any other way," Bryant said. "If you want to get to the playoffs and expect to make some noise, you have to beat playoff teams and that includes Memphis and the Clippers and those types of guys." The Grizzlies have hosted and won both meetings with the Lakers this season. Zach Randolph posted a double-double and Mike Conley had 19 points in each victory. Memphis (51-24), coming off a 94-76 win over Portland on Wednesday, has won four straight and is battling Denver for the West's only top-four seed which won't go to a division winner. "Obviously, we are chasing that home-court advantage so need we need every (win) we can get," said Conley, who scored a game-high 20 points Wednesday and is averaging 21.0 over his last six. Coach Lionel Hollins, though, is more concerned with simply finishing the season in strong fashion. "The players may think about (home-court advantage), but I just want us to play well," Hollins said. "We had home-court last year (against the Clippers) and we lost the series. We've been in series where we didn't have home court and we won. Wherever you go you've just got to play well." While the Grizzlies, allowing an NBA-low 89.8 points per game, have already wrapped up a playoff berth, the Lakers aren't feeling as comfortable. "We're desperate, and the players know it," D'Antoni said. Bryant has averaged 29.5 points in this season series, but Howard has totaled nine and a sore shoulder caused him to miss the second half of the last meeting - a 106-93 defeat Jan. 23.

Kobe Bryant's message to Shaq prior to jersey retirement (Video)

Since the Los Angeles Lakers retired Shaquille O'Neal's jersey tonight, you knew that the Lakers would reach out to former teammate Kobe Bryant to say some words about Shaq.Below is the full message that Kobe delivered to the Staples Center crowd:

Lakers retire Shaquille O’Neal’s jersey with speeches from Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson & Jeanie Buss

Tuesday night in LA, the “Most Dominant Ever” jersey was retired at  Staples Center. Shaquille O’Neal, accompanied by his children and his mother watched his #34 raised into the rafters by the Lakers. The halftime ceremony which featured a video from Kobe Bryant and speeches by  Phil Jackson and Lakers EVP Jeanie Buss. The three shared memories and laughs of the “Shaq...

Lakers escape Grizzlies to retain eighth spot

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant had 24 points and nine assists, Pau Gasol added 19 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers stayed in the final playoff position in the Western Conference with an 86-84 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. Dwight Howard hit a free throw with 4.1 seconds left for the Lakers, who have won three straight in the final weeks of their desperate...

Shaq's jersey retirement heart felt, and odd

LOS ANGELES -- As is the norm when Shaquille ONeal and Kobe Bryant are involved, ONeals jersey retirement ceremony was a mixture of happiness, celebration and oddity. Bringing back fond Lakers championship memories on Tuesday night at Staples Center, Shaq began his speech by yelling, Can you dig it?, which he did after the Lakers won their first three championships of the Phil...

Kobe's triple-double pushes Lakers past Mavs

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his 19th career triple-double, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 101-81 Tuesday night in a key game for the two teams struggling to get into the Western Conference playoff picture. Dwight Howard had 24 points and 12 rebounds while hitting seven fourth-quarter free throws for the Lakers...

Kobe says Magic's support for gay son is a lesson in 'tolerance'

Over the weekend Magic Johnson came out in support of his openly gay son Earvin Johnson III and said he could be any happier for his 20-year-old kid. The former NBA great told TMZ that he and his wife Cookie "support him in every way" and "we're very proud of him." Kobe Bryant was so impressed by Magic's stand on his son's personal life, he lauded...

Shaquille O’Neal Jersey Retirement Muffed by Lakers, Who Hang Backwards Jersey Among Other L.A. Greats (Photos)

Tuesday night’s Lakers ceremony retiring Shaquille O’Neal‘s jersey was a special affair. Jack Nicholson appeared, the fans chanted for Phil Jackson to return, and even O’Neal and Kobe Bryant appeared to be getting on good footing as Los Angeles honored No. 34. But, as tends to happen in some special moments, the Lakers got one little detail wrong. That little detail is now...


The playoffs are coming, do you have a point guard emergency? Mo Williams consistency driving you insane? Kyrie Irving just not cutting it since his return? Steve Nash can’t stay on the floor? Tony Parker goes down! Well according to Lt. Dangle there might be a new sheriff in Orlando, all he needs is a killer ‘stache. Beno Udrih was Udraining shots from all over the floor Friday...
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