Kobe Bryant denies injuring man in San Diego church

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As one would expect, Kobe Bryant has denied injuring a man by snatching a cell phone out of his hand in a San Diego church.

His attorney issued a statement to the Los Angeles Times.

“Mr. Bryant is aware of the baseless allegations asserted against him,” said a statement issued by attorney Mark Campbell, “and is prepared to defend against them fully.”

Thomas Hagos, 20, of San Diego, filed a police report against Bryant saying the Laker star snatched a cell phone out of Hagos hand during a church service at St. Therese of Carmel Church in the San Diego area. The report says Bryant accused Hagos of taking pictures of him and his wife, but when no images were found the camera was returned. Bryant reportedly left the church before the service ended.

Hagos reportedly has said he had to go to the hospital for pain in his wrist after the incident. He has not spoken to reporters, and he has not spoken in detail to the police, according to the Times.

San Diego police would like to interview Hagos but, through a representative, he has indicated that he will not be available for interview until Aug. 24. No reason for the delay was given. Until the alleged victim is interviewed, police do not plan to interview the basketball star, a police spokesman said.

Make of this what you will. To me it still sounds like a small time incident that has blown up due to the police report, a report that you would need to file if you were thinking about a future lawsuit. The same reason you would go to an emergency room.

Final minute of Celtics-Wizards featured five-possession, 10-point, no-stoppage stretch (video)

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Crunch time of a close NBA game is awesome.

It’s exponentially better when nobody calls timeout.

The Celtics and Wizards finished with a flourish tonight, Boston coming out ahead in a frenetic final minute. The last minute included two Kyrie Irving 3-pointers (one tightly contested, one extremely deep) and a sharp drive by John Wall (who had just returned to the game from an injury).

After a flow-killing foul in the final few seconds, the Celtics won, 130-25.

More games should be like this.

Jeremy Lamb hits game-winner despite Bismack Biyombo, others Hornets prematurely running on court to celebrate

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The Hornets sure were excited for Jeremy Lamb‘s game-winner against the Pistons tonight.

Too excited.

After Lamb hit a jumper to put Charlotte up two with 0.3 seconds left, several Hornets ran onto the court. Bismack Biyombo was nearly at halfcourt as Detroit tried to inbound! He was so far onto the court, I’m not even sure officials noticed him when dinging Malik Monk – closer to the bench –for the violation.

Ashley Holder:

The Pistons made a technical free throw to cut their deficit to one, but they still had to inbound from under their own basket. Their desperation pass was intercepted, and Charlotte held on for a 108-107 win.

Several Hornets were certainly relieved.

Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.

Suns’ T.J. Warren fined $15k for inappropriate language toward official following ejection (video)

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Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.

In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.

NBA release:

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.

(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)

Pacers star Victor Oladipo returns from 11-game absence

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When the Pacers ruled Victor Oladipo out indefinitely a couple weeks ago, it seemed gloomy.

But Indiana weathered the storm, going 7-4 without its best player.

Now, Oladipo is back. He started against the Bucks tonight.

I still think the Raptors, Celtics, 76ers and Bucks will comprise the Eastern Conference’s top tier by the end of the season. But the Pacers (17-10, fourth in East) have a chance to crash the party. They acquitted themselves well without Oladipo, and it should get only easier with their offensive focal point/top perimeter defender.