NBA: Lakers beat Spurs without Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles, April 15 (IANS) Though Kobe Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon and didn’t show up at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to beat the San Antonio Spurs 91-86 Sunday night.

With the win, the Lakers move to 44-37 and lead the Utah Jazz (42-38) by one and a half games for the eighth post-season spot in the Western Conference. If the Lakers win the game Wednesday against the Houston Rockets, they will get the last playoff berth.

They can also be guaranteed a post-season ticket if the Utah Jazz lose to the Timberwolves Monday night, Xinhua reports.

Bryant watched the game at home. “Whew!! Well done my dudes. Well done. UNO MAS #playoffs,” he tweeted after the game.

Dwight Howard led all scorers with 26 points, also had 17 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Steve Blake scored 23 points, Antawn Jamison added 15 points for the Lakers. Pau Gasol had a miserable shooting night, missing 12 of his first 13 shots, but he collected 16 rebounds and had three blocks.

The Spurs’ Tim Duncan had double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds, Danny Green had 16 points.

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