Bryant likely to play for Lakers in opener

Kobe Bryant expects to play in the Los Angeles Lakers’ season opener Sunday against Chicago, saying his right wrist “should be fine.”


Bryant sustained a torn ligament while trying to break his fall in Monday’s exhibition game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

He said the wrist was still “swollen and painful,” but added, “It’s always been in my nature to try to figure out a way to play.”

The Lakers officially list him as day-to-day.

CELTICS: Guard Paul Pierce didn’t practice because of a nagging heel injury and might not play in Boston’s season opener against the Knicks in New York on Christmas Day.

Pierce did shoot around after Friday’s practice, but coach Doc Rivers said “I still think it’s doubtful” he’ll play Sunday, when the Celtics and Knicks are playing one of the NBA’s five season openers.

Rivers expects to know more today.

NETS: Center Brook Lopez, New Jersey’s leading returning scorer, had surgery for a nondisplaced fracture.

He will be sidelined at least six weeks and probably more.

REDUCED: The NBA has reduced suspensions for the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum and the Pistons’ Charlie Villanueva by one game because of the shortened season.

The league trimmed one game off the five-game ban Bynum was given for knocking the Mavericks’ J.J. Barea to the court in the second round of last season’s playoffs.

Villanueva was originally suspended five games for instigating an altercation with Cleveland’s Ryan Hollins and attempting to escalate it by entering the Cavaliers’ locker room.



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