Shooting a jumper from the left baseline with three seconds left in the game, Bryant missed the game-tying shot and came down on Dahntay Jones’ foot. While x-rays are negative, Bryant said that it was his worst ankle sprain since the 2000 season.
Needless to say, this is horrible timing for the Lakers season, as the Lakers recently overtook the Utah Jazz for the eighth spot of the Western Conference standings. Bryant was particularly frustrated with the final play and called out the referees for how he was defended.
“First and foremost, the officials really need to protect shooters,” Bryant said regarding how he was defended by Jones. “You just can’t go into shooters. That’s a dangerous play.”
Entering this game, the Lakers had won 17 of their last 22 games. With this loss, the team is now 34-32 on the season and on the brink of possibly falling out of playoff position depending on the length and severity of Bryant’s injury.
Austin Chang is an Associate Editor for Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.