Kobe Bryant says Dahntay Jones' dangerous defense left him with a sprained left ankle, and the NBA agreed.
Now, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping the injury doesn't keep their star away from a playoff push for long.
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. The Lakers offered no update on his condition after saying Bryant was out ``indefinitely.''
The fifth-leading scorer in NBA history was hurt when he landed on Jones' foot with 4 seconds left after attempting a potential tying jumper in the Lakers' 96-92 loss to the Hawks on Wednesday night. The NBA acknowledged Jones should have been called for a foul on the play that left Bryant crumpled on the court in Atlanta.
Bryant rolled on the ground and eventually left the court in anger and pain, furious about Jones' questionable tactics in sliding underneath him while Bryant hung in the air.
NEW YORK (AP) Knicks' All-Star Carmelo Anthony had fluid drained from the back of his right knee and is questionable for New York's game Sunday in Los Angeles against the Clippers.
Anthony left in the third quarter of the Knicks' 117-94 loss to Denver on Wednesday when the knee was bothering him again. He flew home to New York while the Knicks moved on to Portland for Thursday's game against the Trail Blazers.
MIAMI (AP) - Horns honked, percussion pulsed and school kids squealed. Miami can make quite a din when the Dominicans win.
The visiting team on the scoreboard, the Dominican Republic made itself at home by beating the United States 3-1 to earn a berth in the final round of the World Baseball Classic.
Pinch-hitter Erick Aybar singled home Nelson Cruz with the go-ahead run in the ninth for the Dominicans, who improved to 5-0. The Dominican Republic is assured of a spot in the semifinals beginning Sunday in San Francisco, where two-time defending champion Japan and the Netherlands have already advanced.
The United States must now play Puerto Rico on Friday night, with the winner earning a trip to San Francisco and the loser being eliminated. Ryan Vogelsong will pitch for the Americans against Nelson Figueroa.
MIAMI (AP) - David Wright was scratched from the World Baseball Classic game against the Dominican Republic because of sore ribs, and U.S. manager Joe Torre isn't expecting him to rejoin the lineup.
Wright said he was optimistic about playing again for the Americans. But Torre ruled him out of Friday night's game against Puerto Rico and said Wright was doubtful beyond that.
The Atlanta Falcons replaced Michael Turner with another proven, productive running back.
Steven Jackson, the top running back in free agency, agreed to a three-year, $12 million deal with the Falcons on Day 3 of the NFL's free agency frenzy.
Also getting new deals were backup quarterback Matt Cassel in Minnesota, pass rusher Cliff Avril in Seattle and cornerback Keenan Lewis in New Orleans. The New York Giants signed defensive backs Ryan Mundy and Aaron Ross.
And the Houston Texans were rolling out the red carpet to make their pitch to safety Ed Reed.
The New England Patriots agreed to terms with receiver Danny Amendola on a deal that would reportedly pay him $31 million over five years, moving quickly after the loss of five-time Pro Bowl selection Wes Welker.
The tuck rule could disappear from NFL games if owners approve a proposal from the competition committee to dump it.
The owners, who meet next week in Phoenix, also will consider a change to instant replay rules allowing for a video review even when a coach makes an illegal challenge.
Under the tuck rule, if a passer is in the act of bringing the ball down into his body rather than throwing it and loses control, it is ruled an incomplete pass. The proposal under consideration would make it a fumble.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Denver Broncos safety Quinton Carter is facing felony charges in Nevada alleging that he cheated at a craps game last weekend at a Las Vegas-area casino, authorities said.
The NHL map is finally in order with Detroit and Columbus heading east, and Winnipeg moving west.
The new format goes into effect next season, and will feature two eight-team divisions in the Eastern Conference, including the Red Wings and Blue Jackets. The Jets will now be part of a Western Conference that's made up of two seven-team divisions.
It's a plan that Commissioner Gary Bettman called ``fan-friendly,'' because it aligns teams by divisions that are mostly in the same time zones. And Bettman noted it will re-establish numerous rivalries by geography and tradition.
Bettman said the vote conducted by email was not unanimous, but ``well in excess'' of the two-thirds majority required.
The new format also creates 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 earn 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.
The NHL Players' Association had already signed off on the realignment format, which will be in place for at least three seasons.
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) - Rafael Nadal defeated error-prone Roger Federer 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open in the earliest meeting between the two rivals since they first played each other in 2004.
Nadal needed barely 1 1/2 hours to close out the defending champion in their 29th career meeting and the first in a quarterfinal. Nadal faced just two break points on his serve in the match.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - 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 Thursday.
The announcement came amid efforts by the company to build a downtown stadium to lure an NFL team back to Los Angeles.
Anschutz said in a statement that he had made it clear that he wouldn't sell the AEG sports and entertainment company unless the right buyer came forward.
Anschutz said he will resume a more active role in AEG. Tim Leiweke, who has served as president and CEO and been the face of the company for more than 15 years, is leaving, Anschutz said.