Kobe Bryant sprains right pinkie
PHILADELPHIA -- Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was down to three healthy fingers on his shooting hand Friday in his Philadelphia homecoming but a fourth-quarter surge won it for the Lakers, 93-81.
X-rays taken after the game on Bryant's right pinkie finger came back negative and the injury is listed as a pinkie sprain, according to the team. Bryant suffered an avulsion fracture on a different joint of the same finger in February 2008 against New Jersey, which happened to be Pau Gasol's first game with the Lakers.
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Gasol was involved this time around as well, as the sprain occurred midway through the first quarter when Bryant attempted to catch a pass from Gasol.
"Pau threw a bad pass," Bryant said.
"It's sore, it was hard for me to kind of hold the basketball," said Bryant, who scored a season-low nine points on 3-for-11 shooting from the field. "I had to kind of quarterback things a little more."
Bryant had his pinkie taped by Lakers trainer Gary Vitti, matching it with the right index finger he has taped every game since suffering a similar fracture to it last season in trying to field a pass from former Lakers guard Jordan Farmar.
"Lamar [Odom] was going well, they weren't double-teaming Pau, there was no sense in me trying to go through it tonight," Bryant said of Odom, who scored a season-high 28 points. "I would much rather just use Lamar and just ride that wave."
Bryant said his pinkie went numb for about 20 minutes after it was hit by the ball, but it does not appear he is in any jeopardy to miss the sixth and final game of the Lakers' road trip Sunday in Toronto.
"He said it'll be all right," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.