ESPN: Kobe Bryant said the back injury that sent him to the locker room, dropped him to his knees and had him wincing in pain throughout the Lakers’ loss to Utah in Game 4 won’t keep him out of Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night.

“I’ll play,” Bryant said. “I can’t imagine it being worse than what it was [Sunday] night.”

Bryant shot 13-for-33 in Game 3, making only 2 of 13 shots in the fourth quarter and overtime. He wrenched his back on a jump shot in the first quarter and it clearly bothered him throughout the game. At one point he was so landlocked that Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko merely had to stand on his tiptoes and reach from behind to block Bryant’s shot. His treatment has included electrical stimulation, ice, heat, massage and stretching.

After winning the first two games of the series, the Lakers dropped both games in Utah and are deadlocked at 2-2. The free-flowing offense and excellent ball movement the Lakers enjoyed at home disappeared in the face of the Jazz’s better pressure defense in Salt Lake City. That was reflected in a dropoff of assists on 65 percent of the Laker baskets in L.A. to 44 percent in Salt Lake City.

“On the offensive end of the court we have to play with a — ‘purpose’ is the term I use a lot of times,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “Sometimes we come down the court and we look like we’re not purposeful as a unit.”

Continue reading ‘Bryant will play Game 5’




  • SliqRiq

    This is good news…go get em Kobe!!!!!!

    Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • PauKobeBynumDynasty

    No back and one less finger…this is Kobe’s game

  • e

    thank God

  • Michael_23

    Duh … Of course he’ll play in game 5. The question is how effective he’ll be.

    Did Trevor Ariza have anohter setback? Sorry I’m kind of late on this. We could use em against Deron Williams in place of Jordan Farmar. Trevor did a great job against Allen Iverson in a game against Denver remember. Status?

  • kbfan24

    Thank God Kobe is alright.

  • Mamba2410

    Here Michael_23

    “Trevor Ariza will seek a third opinion on his broken right foot, coach Phil Jackson said. Ariza has been sidelined since January, and CT scans of his foot indicated he’s not entirely healed. However, it’s possible that Ariza could return in time to play in the series against the Jazz, Jackson said. There’s no date yet scheduled for the exam.”

  • http://lakernation kauaimamba

    I just read that two independent doctors both cleared Ariza to play but the lakers doctors wont.What the?

  • lalakerfan1980

    well guys I worked as a therapist and rehab trainer, and for a strain back muscle a shot of cortosone and streching with ice and heat he should be about 80 percent come wendsday. we all have to remember that he is an athlete and his muscle tone is very healthy and he should do fine with treatment. The muchine that he is using
    is called an EMS machine and is used for stimulating nerve tisue to lower pain. well my prediction for wendsday is lakers by 15 going to utha. Go lakersssssssssss

  • west213

    this is one of the things that make me love kob soooo much……
    what the guy has back problems, fingers, ankle……

  • vida8

    He is kobe he is going to play through it u think he would miss playoffs game ….na thats doesnt worry me at all…but how effecient will he be is my concern right now… !

  • ab4sure

    I don’t think there was much doubt.