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Bryant status in air

LA star has torn ligament in wrist

Associated Press / December 22, 2011
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Kobe Bryant did not play in the Lakers’ preseason finale against the Clippers last night because of a torn ligament in his right wrist, and his status for the season opener Sunday is up in the air.

An MRI revealed the extent of the injury, which occurred early in the in the third quarter of the Lakers’ 114-95 loss to the Clippers Monday night. Depending on the degree of the tear, Bryant could be sidelined 3-4 weeks.

“He’s day to day. As soon as I figure it out, I will let you guys know,’’ said coach Mike Brown, who took over this season after the retirement of Phil Jackson. “The doctor has to clear him. Come Sunday, we’ll see how it is. There’s a chance, though, that he could play Sunday.’’

Bryant, who shoots righthanded, was sent crashing to the floor by Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on a blocked layup and came up holding the wrist. He stayed in the game for another three minutes, then went to the bench for a good stretch and was allowed to return to the floor during the fourth quarter.

Bryant practiced Tuesday, but did not participate in yesterday morning’s shootaround. He did not talk to the media before the game and camped out in the trainer’s room.

Without Bryant, the Lakers could not prevent a preseason sweep by the Clippers, who rode Blake Griffin’s 30 points to a 108-103 victory last night.

Griffin scored 9 points in the final 5:18. Newly acquired Chris Paul added 10 assists and scored 7 points.

Warriors’ Ellis sued

A former Golden State Warriors employee filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against star guard Monta Ellis, alleging Ellis sent her unwanted texts that included a photo of his genitals.

In her lawsuit, which also names the team, Erika Ross Smith alleges Ellis began sending her several dozen explicit messages, sometimes several times a day, starting in November 2010 while she worked for the team’s community relations department. Smith’s lawyer, Burt Boltuch, said his client rejected Ellis’s advances and feared that no one would believe her.

Rick Welts, the Warriors’ president and chief operating officer, said in a statement yesterday that the organization takes all harassment allegations seriously.

“When we were made aware of a consensual relationship between Mr. Ellis and the Plaintiff, we did what an organization should do. We told both to stop - promptly, directly, and fairly,’’ Welts said. “The Warriors have never taken any action against the Plaintiff for any inappropriate reason, and we deny the allegations she is making.’’

Boltuch rejected the team’s claim.

“It was absolutely, unequivocally 100 percent not consensual,’’ Boltuch said. “And if it was, why was my client’s job duties removed and nothing was done to Mr. Ellis? To me that smacks of sexual harassment.’’

Humphries back in N.J.

Kris Humphries re-signed with the Nets, a one-year deal worth a reported $8 million.

Humphries, 26, enjoyed a breakthrough season last year, averaging 10 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in his second season with New Jersey, more than doubling his career averages. He was fifth in the NBA in rebounding.

Dalembert a Rocket

Free agent center Samuel Dalembert reached a two-year, $13.7 million deal with Houston according to . . . Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby did not play in Portland’s preseason finale against Utah in Salt Lake City after tweaking his left knee during warm-ups, although coach Nate McMillan didn’t believe the injury was serious.

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