NEW ORLEANS — Lakers coach Phil Jackson said after today’s shootaround that Kobe Bryant was still limited by a sprained left ankle. “He’s still a guy who’s not 100 percent,” Jackson said hours before the Lakers looked to close out the New Orleans Hornets in Game 6 of their first-round series. “I just think it’s a matter of where is his physical ability with the ankle. It’s not about whether he plays 28 minutes or 38 minutes. That, obviously, it going to put a little more stress on the ankle. I think he can play 40 minutes if he has to.”
Bryant was seated nearby as Jackson spoke, but declined to talk to reporters. He was hurt in the final moments of the Lakers’ loss Sunday to the Hornets in Game 4. He scored a team-leading 19 points, including two thunderous dunks, in the Lakers’ victory in Game 5, which gave them a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.