The Los Angeles Lakers dispatched the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night 99-87 to move their record without Kobe Bryant this season to 5-2. It is expected to end there. Bryant said he plans to play Friday night in the Lakers’ next game — a meaningful one at San Antonio. The Lakers close the regular season after that vs. Oklahoma City and at Sacramento.
Bryant was asked why he is playing Friday night and responded: “Why not?” Bryant said his sore left shin is fine now.
Bryant’s absence was hardly a factor against Golden State, which lost for the third time in three chances to play the Lakers during Bryant’s career when he has been hurt.
The Lakers got 31 points from Andrew Bynum and a triple-double from Pau Gasol (22 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) against the injury-ravaged Warriors.
The Lakers have made a more concerted effort to move the ball into the paint while Bryant has been hurt.
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