OKLAHOMA CITY — The Lakers are looking old and ragged against the Oklahoma City Thunder beyond how they’re performing on the court.
Kobe Bryant left the game with 8:40 remaining in the first quarter because of an ulnar nerve contusion on his right elbow, essentially an injury to his funny bone. The Lakers initially considered him “questionable to return, but Bryant checked back in with 4:01 remaining in the first quarter.
Bryant initially showed signs that the elbow hurt him after trying to receive a pass from Lakers guard Steve Nash. Bryant immediately stood off to the side at the 9:55 side, clutching his arm and wincing in pain. But on the ensuing possessions, Bryant kept adjusting his sleeve and wiggling his right arm. During a dead ball situation, Bryant also bounced the ball in hopes of loosening up his arm.
It worsened, though, after Bryant drove into the lane with his left hand and Thunder forward Kevin Durant swiped the ball. Bryant immediately motioned for Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni to take him out. Bryant then headed toward the locker room with trainer Gary Vitti.
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