ATLANTA Kobe Bryant limped out of Philips Arena Wednesday night, a severely sprained ankle and revenge fresh on his mind.
With the final seconds ticking off the clock of the Los Angeles Lakers' most recent loss, Bryant attempted a potential game-tying jumper, with Atlanta Hawks defender Dahntay Jones crowding his shooting space as the shot caromed off the rim. But the focus was not on the missed shot. It was back on the baseline, where Bryant had landed on Jones' foot and collapsed due to an awkwardly turned ankle.
At that point, Atlanta's 95-92 win was all but a given; the remainder of the Lakers' up-and-down season hung in the balance.
There's little question Bryant has carried the turbulent Lakers (34-32) back into the playoff picture, and the mere sight of the future Hall of Famer on the floor brought an immediate hush to the pro-L.A. crowd in Atlanta. Subsequent X-rays came back negative, but the Lakers' staff said that the All-Star shooting guard would be "out indefinitel...