Kobe Bryant’s potentially game-tying jumper from the corner with under 4 seconds to play missed it’s mark preserving the Atlanta Hawks 96-92 win over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers at Philips Arena Wednesday night.
Bryant’s missed shot became the center of controversy overshadowing the play by the Hawks who were playing without starters Jeff Teague and Josh Smith. The perennial All-Star landed awkwardly rolling his ankle on the play. Hawks guard Dahntay Jones was blamed for the injury.
Not long after the game Bryant took to Twitter to express his opinion on the play and post pictures of his ankle. “#dangerousplay that should have been called. Period.” tweeted Bryant from @kobebryant.Fifteen hours later, Bryant was still smoldering “17yrs. Countless fades. This has happened TWICE. Jalen and Now Ankle still very swollen. Treatment all day #focus" Twitter Pic
Jones also took to social media in defense of his actions stating, “I have the utmost respect for @kobebryant I would never try to intentionally hurt him. Just wanted to contest the fadeaway.” The play took on a life of its own forcing the nine year pro to defend it. “Tape doesn't lie. Ankle was turned on the floor after the leg kick out that knocked him off balance. I would never try to hurt the man,” tweeted the former Duke guard @dahntay1 of the video replay.
Before the Bryant “shot”, the Lakers guard knocked down his 31 st point from deep behind the arc to get them within 1. As a team, LA missed 6 of 8 shots including 2 layups in the final 2 minutes of the game to finish 39.1 pct from the floor.
In this particular game, the Hawks simply outplayed the Lakers. Six Hawks players scored in double figures. Half of those came from Ivan Johnson, Kyle Korver and rookie John Jenkins off the bench. Larry Drew’s bench chipped in 46 points besting the 16 points from the Lakers reserves.
Atlanta native Dwight Howard was largely ineffective in his first trip home in the purple and gold duds. The Lakers center pulled down 16 boards to go along with 10 points but was not as aggressive on the defensive side due to early foul trouble.Lakers vs Hawks Video Recap
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