The Los Angeles Lakers might have been able to forget about their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder as soon as they boarded the plane to fly to New Orleans for a back-to-back Wednesday, but it will be a little harder for their bodies to forget what happened. Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace all sustained a physical setback in L.A.'s 122-105 loss Tuesday, but all plan to play against the Hornets. Bryant suffered an ulnar nerve contusion -- reaggravating a funny bone injury he has been dealing with for most of the season -- in the first quarter and had to leave the court to receive treatment, before returning to score 30 points on 8-for-19 shooting. "I just got popped on a nerve," Bryant said. "That's the exact reason why I wear the sleeve is to protect that thing, and I just got popped right on that button." Bryant initially seemed to hurt the elbow while catching a pass from Steve Nash and had it flare up several other times throughout the game while driving to the lane or getting his arms tangled up with Kendrick Perkins as they jockeyed for a rebound. "Every time you try to bend your elbow extended with a little resistance, it's a lot of pain," Bryant said. Bryant was able to keep up his high scoring streak, topping 30 points for the fifth time in the past six games, but his efficiency dropped, as he shot just 42.1 percent when he had gone in shooting better than 56 percent over his previous five games. "You got to adjust your shooting mechanics, and I wasn't able to hold my follow-through too much, but you just got to adjust to it and go from there," Bryant said. He missed only a couple of minutes of game time, checking out with 8:40 to go in the first and returning with 4:01 remaining, so it's no surprise Bryant will be back in uniform going forward. "This is a critical part of the season to say the least, so I'm going to play," Bryant said.
Lakers expect three injured starters to play in N.O.
ESPN Los Angeles | Mar 6