Clippers Beat Kobe Bryant-Less Lakers 108-103 in Teams’ Preseason Finale

Blake Griffin had 30 points and the Clippers defeated the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers 108-103 last night to sweep a preseason duel of Los Angeles teams.

Bryant, 33, who has a torn ligament in his right wrist, sat on the Lakers’ bench in a suit wearing a plastic brace on the wrist. He declined to comment when asked by reporters about his availability for the season opener in three days against the Chicago Bulls.

A 13-time All-Star and 2007-08 National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player, Bryant injured his wrist during the Lakers’ 114-95 loss to the Clippers three days ago. He had tests yesterday that revealed the tear to the lunotriquetral ligament, the Lakers said on their website.

Bryant’s status is officially listed as day-to-day.

“Come Sunday, we’ll see how it is,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said before last night’s game. “There’s a chance he can play Sunday.”

Dr. Michael Hausman, vice chairman of the Orthopedics Department at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, said the lunotriquetral ligament is one of two that bind and help stabilize the three carpal bones in the wrist. He said an injury to the lunotriquetral ligament, which is located on the small- finger side of the wrist, is rarer and usually less debilitating than that for the scapholunate ligament.

Photographer: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant. Close

Kobe Bryant.

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Photographer: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant.

“He elected the correct ligament to injure if he had to injure one of them,” Hausman said in a telephone interview.

Hausman said the prognosis for recovery from a torn lunotriquetral ligament depends on multiple factors, including the severity of the tear, whether the bones are shifted and if there are any other associated injuries.

“Let’s say there’s a small tear, that may very well calm down over the course of a week and he would be able to resume trying to play,” Hausman said.

Bryant averaged a team-leading 25.3 points last season, matching his career average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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