Good news for Bryant, Lakers

The Lakers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 105-88, and X-rays taken of Kobe Bryant’s dislocated right ring finger were negative, so the news was doubly good for the home team late Monday night. Bryant said he expects to play Wednesday against the Clippers.

When it first happened, when Bryant jammed his finger while trying to steal the ball from LeBron James early in the game, he was scared his injury might require surgery that could keep him on the sidelines for quite some time.

“When I first put my finger on it, I thought I was done,” Bryant said after the game. “I thought it was pins and all that (in a surgical procedure). It just popped out. It was disgusting. I’ll just go home and ice it, It’s just throbbing right now.”

Bryant had 20 points, 12 assists and six rebounds. Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Andrew Bynum and Sasha Vujacic added 14 points apiece. Derek Fisher had 11 points and Trevor Ariza scored 10. James led Cleveland with 23 points.

“Well, this is a significant victory for us,” Gasol said. “But we have to make sure we play close or similar to what we played tonight in every other game. The defensive effort was outstanding tonight. If we keep teams under 90 or 100 points, most nights we’re going to win most of the games. So that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Lamar Odom, who had eight points and 10 rebounds, had this to say about the difference between the Lakers and the Cavaliers: “Our big lineup was bigger than their big lineup, and our small lineup was quicker than their small lineup.”

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