NBA: Kobe Bryant scored 34 points while playing much of the second half in obvious pain with an injured left leg, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied in the final minutes without him to stay in the playoff picture with a 118-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night in Los Angeles.
After the game, the Lakers announced Bryant probably had a torn Achilles tendon. He will have an MRI exam today, but Bryant knows the injury is likely to end his season.
“I can’t walk,” Bryant said. “I tried to maybe put pressure on my heel, but there was nothing there.”
Stephen Curry scored 47 points in a dynamic performance for the Warriors, but Los Angeles played just enough late defense to hang on for a win that keeps them in eighth place in the Western Conference, one game ahead of Utah. Both teams have two games remaining and Utah holds the tiebreaker.
• Jazz keep pressure on Lakers: Al Jefferson tied a career high with 40 points, including a clutch jumper with 39 seconds left, to power Utah’s 107-100 victory over Minnesota at Salt Lake City.
Jefferson scored 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting in the third quarter to turn a seven-point deficit into an 82-81 lead entering the fourth. His 14-footer as the shot clock expired gave Utah a 101-98 lead with 39 seconds remaining.
• Nets assured of at least fourth place: Brooklyn secured home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, clinching no worse than the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference by defeating Indiana 117-109 at Indianapolis.
Deron Williams led the victory with 33 points and 14 assists.
• Hawks rally, close in on fifth place: Atlanta used a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter to take the lead after trailing by 19 early in the second half and beat Milwaukee 109-104 in Atlanta.
Atlanta moved a half-game ahead of Chicago for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls lost to Toronto for the second consecutive game, 97-88 in Toronto.
• Grizzlies end skid in Houston: Marc Gasol had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Memphis snapped a 13-game losing streak in Houston, defeating the Rockets 82-78.
Zach Randolph scored 15 points and Jerryd Bayless had 13 for the Grizzlies.
Senators solidly in sixth in East
NHL: Craig Anderson made 33 saves in his third shutout of the season, and the Ottawa Senators sent the sliding New Jersey Devils to their ninth straight loss with a 2-0 victory at Newark, N.J.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Milan Michalek scored second-period goals for the Senators, who won for the second straight night, following a five-game skid, to boost their playoff chances. They are sixth in the Eastern Conference with seven games to play.
• Blackhawks clinch Central Division: Brandon Saad scored in the fifth round of the shootout after Jonathan Toews tied the game late in regulation, and Chicago clinched the Central Division title with a 3-2 victory over Detroit in Chicago.
• Blue Jackets continue playoff push: Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves as Columbus snapped St. Louis’ season-high, six-game winning streak, 4-1 in Columbus, Ohio.
Artem Anisimov, Ryan Johansen and Marian Gaborik also had goals for Columbus, which continued its climb from cellar-dweller to playoff contention, just two points out of eighth place in the Western Conference.
• Flames win in OT, stop skid: Mark Giordano scored the winning goal 4:36 into overtime, and Calgary snapped a three-game home losing streak with a 3-2 victory over visiting Phoenix.
Busch brothers side-by-side in Texas
Miscellany: The Busch brothers will start on the front row. Kyle Busch set a track qualifying record with a lap of 196.299 mph to earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It is his second pole in his Toyota this season. That was all that could knock Kurt Busch off the pole after his lap of 195.688 mph in his Chevrolet.
• Kyle Busch nabs Nationwide victory: Kyle Busch raced to his third consecutive NASCAR Nationwide victory this season and his sixth overall at Texas, leading 91 of 200 laps. Busch is the first six-time winner in any series at the track. Brad Keselowski was second.
• Barcelona draws Bayern Munich: Barcelona will play Bayern Munich in the Champions League soccer semifinals and Real Madrid will face Borussia Dortmund as Friday’s draw in Nyon, Switzerland, kept the Spanish and German teams apart.
Barcelona opens at Bayern on April 23 in a matchup of runaway league leaders, then hosts the second leg on May 1. Real Madrid starts at Dortmund on April 24 and is home on April 30.