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News » High praise from Kobe

High praise from Kobe

High praise from Kobe Kevin Durant missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation against the Lakers on Tuesday night. He was 0-of-4 from the field in overtime and 0-of-8 on 3-pointers as Los Angeles won 101-98. But Kobe Bryant says the 2008 Rookie of the Year will be just fine. Asked if he had any advice for Durant, Bryant smiled.

"He don't need no advice," Bryant said. "That (guy) is good enough already."


Bryant had a temperature Monday night after the Lakers arrived in Oklahoma City. He skipped the shootaround Tuesday afternoon. Wrapped in towels over his head and upper body after the game, Bryant said he wasn't nearly as sick as when he had the stomach flu last year in Cleveland.

"I've played with worse," Bryant said. "I laid in bed all day, so my back is a little bit tighter than normal. Things like that, trying to get your legs underneath you."


Durant says he respects Bryant and LeBron James as much as any players in the league because of their talent, work ethic and the fact that they play the same position.

"I've learned so much from both of them without even having (many) conversations with them; how they play the game and lead their teams on both ends," Durant said. "I try to pattern myself after that. They're the consummate professionals. That's the level I'm trying to get to."


Oklahoma City's bench outscored the Lakers' bench 22-6 and out-rebounded their bench 11-4. Etan Thomas scored nine points and grabbed 11 rebounds. James Harden scored nine points.

"The last two games didn't go our way but we still looked good out there," Harden said. "We're still competing and getting after it on the defensive end. That's a good thing. Thabo (Sefolosha) is a great defender. That's why he's starting and is one of the best two guards in the league."


Lamar Odom hit a big 3-pointer early in overtime to give the Lakers a lead they would never relinquish. Odom, though, missed two free throws with 10.3 seconds left when one would have iced the game. The second miss was an air ball. The Lakers survived when Sefolosha missed an open 3-pointer.

"The first one I shot a little too long," Odom said. "I told myself to do everything I can not to shoot the second one long. It was a lack of concentration. There's no excuse for that. It has to at least touch the rim."


Laker coach Phil Jackson grew up in North Dakota but admitted he's "not real fond" of this part of the country. Jackson said you can see beautiful sunrises and sunsets in Oklahoma, but "the wind is aggravating if you live out here."

But Jackson did fondly recall radio station KOMA, which always has had one of the nation's strongest signals. "KO-MA was a station we picked up," Jackson said. "Two radio signals were all you could get up there."


OSU coach Travis Ford and his son sat on the front row a few seats to the right of the Thunder bench. ... Sidelined by a hamstring injury since the season started, Pau Gasol sat out Tuesday's game. Jackson said Gasol might practice later this week. ... The Lakers will see former teammate Trevor Ariza tonight in Houston, but Jackson said the team won't give him his championship ring until the Rockets visit Los Angeles.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 6, 2009


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