Bryant on injury: ‘Clean up the game’
Kobe Bryant says Dahntay Jones’s dangerous defense left him with a sprained left ankle, and the NBA agreed. Bryant spent Thursday getting several hours of treatment on what he called the worst sprained ankle of his 17 NBA seasons, hoping to be healthy for Friday’s game at Indiana. Although the Lakers offered no update on his condition after saying Bryant was out ‘‘indefinitely,’’ the NBA acknowledged Jones should have been called for a foul on the play that left Bryant crumpled on the court in Atlanta. Bryant landed on Jones’s foot with four seconds left after attempting a potential tying jumper in the Lakers’ 96-92 loss to the Hawks on Wednesday night. Bryant rolled on the ground and eventually left the court in anger and pain, furious about Jones’s questionable tactics in sliding underneath him while Bryant hung in the air. Bryant tweeted about it Thursday, including a hashtag: ‘‘cleanupthegame.’’ The NBA later said video replay confirmed Bryant was fouled . . . New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony had fluid drained from the back of his right knee and is questionable Sunday in Los Angeles against the Clippers, the team said. He had recently missed three games with soreness and stiffness in the knee.
Bengston called to play for Honduras
Revolution forward Jerry Bengtson was called up to the Honduras national team for its upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Panama. Bengtson will play for the Revolution Saturday at Philadelphia, then leave for national duty the next day and return March 28. He will miss the home opener against Sporting KC March 23 . Bengtson, who joined the Revolution last July, scored in a 1-0 win at Chicago last Saturday . . . . . The US has fallen one spot to No. 33 in FIFA’s rankings while world and European champion Spain remains No. 1.
Owners approve realignment plan
NHL owners approved a realignment plan that will go into effect next season. The new format will feature two eight-team divisions in the Eastern Conference, and two seven-team divisions in the West. Realignment will also create changes in determining the 16-team playoff field. The top three teams in each division will qualify for the postseason. The next two teams with the best records in each conference will then wild-card berths. That will make it more difficult for teams to qualify in the East, because it will have two more clubs than the West competing for eight berths . . . AEG, the company that owns the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the Staples Center, is no longer for sale, its billionaire owner Philip Anschutz said in a statement . . . Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier is out indefinitely because of an undisclosed lower body injury . . . Sabres defenseman Alexander Sulzer will miss the rest of the season after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right knee.
Harvard’s Fagbenle Ivy Rookie of Year
Harvard sophomore Temi Fagbenle was a unanimous selection for Rookie of the Year, becoming the fourth Crimson to earn that honor. Fagbenle earned 10 Rookie of the Week honors this season and averaged 12.3 points and 7.8 rebounds. Harvard’s Victoria Lippert and Christine Clark were named to the Ivy League first team . . . Denny Hamlin will not appeal the $25,000 fine levied against him for criticizing the Gen-6 car, and NASCAR, per the rule book, will take the money out of his race winnings . . . NBC Sports broadcaster Bob Costas will receive the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting.