Look, it’s Kobe Bryant — he deals with injuries like Monty Python’s Black Knight (’tis just a flesh wound). But even he can be felled or at least slowed by illness.
Kobe did not take part in the Lakers’ shootaround in Denver on Thursday and might not play in a crucial Game 6 because of gastroenteritis, the team announced. Bryant is a game-time decision and will be re-evaluated by the team medical staff after a day of rest and treatment.
Gastroenteritis is what you or I would call a stomach virus or stomach flu (even though it’s not actually related to the flu virus). We’ve all been there — vomiting, diarrhea, the inability to keep food down and feeling very tired. All of which are not conducive to good basketball.
Kobe is averaging 31.2 points a game this series along with 5.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists. Without him the Lakers lack a real threat on the perimeter and Denver would do more of what it did last game — collapse in the paint, double-team Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, and dare anyone else on the Lakers to beat them. The Lakers were already going to need their role players to step up in this game. If Kobe cannot go or is slowed that need grows exponentially.
Rodney Hood got the Jazz to overtime.
Gordon Hayward took it from there.
This extends Utah’s win streak to eight games and snaps a 10-game losing streak in Dallas. The last time the Jazz won in Dallas? Mavericks guard Deron Williams started – for Utah.*
*Those Jazz brought Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews off the bench. Dang
Up three points and the final seconds winding down, the Mavericks had a great chance to intentionally foul Trey Lyles (a 62% free-throw shooter) with his back to the basket.
Instead, they allowed Rodney Hood to hit this shot and get the Jazz to overtime.
The Bucks led the Celtics led the Bucks by 19 in the fourth quarter and four in the final minute.
But Boston completed its comeback when Jerryd Bayless committed a boneheaded foul on Kelly Olynyk with a second left, shoving Olynyk in the back on the inbound. Olynyk sunk both free throws to tie the game.
Then, Khris Middleton got Bayless off the hook.
Middleton drew a foul on Avery Bradley, who was trying to contest the game-winning shot. The Milwaukee wing made one free throw then intentionally the second, and Jae Crowder couldn’t replicate this.
Par for the course, Gregg Popovich gave curt answers to end his in-game interview quickly.
But David Aldridge tempted the Spurs coach, asking whether he wanted New Hampshire primary results. Popovich walked back to hear the answer.
Told Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won, Popovich shook his head.
Was that disapproval for the Democratic or Republican candidate – or both?