- Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Senior Writer
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DENVER -- Kobe Bryant said he expects the NBA to rescind the technical foul that referee Joey Crawford called on him for arguing a non-call near the end of the first half of Monday night's 119-108 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
It was Bryant's league-leading 14th technical foul of the season. A player is suspended for one game upon picking up a 16th technical. After that, the suspensions come after every subsequent technical foul (18, 20, etc.).
"That [technical] will be rescinded," Bryant said after the game. "Joey didn't know what was going on with that. Me and the [other] ref, were just having a civil conversation. He [Crawford] kind of jumped the gun."
Bryant said he and Crawford talked about the play after halftime, and "he marked it down."
If Bryant is wrong, if the technical foul isn't rescinded, he can pick up only one more technical in the Lakers' final 25 games to avoid a suspension.
"He knows we can't afford to lose him for a game," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He's a pretty headstrong guy."
Bryant has toed that line several times in his 17-year career but only hit it once, in the 2010-11 season. He stopped short in 2001-02 (14 technicals), 2005-06 (15), 2006-07 (14), 2007-08 (15) and 2009-10 (14).
After picking up his 13th technical foul in Sunday's win over the Dallas Mavericks, Bryant vowed once again that it won't be an issue.
Asked how he manages to push the envelope but never go too far, Bryant said, "I just don't get 'em. I just don't do it. It's that simple."
4dAmin Elhassan and Baxter Holmes