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After a miserable start to the season, the Los Angeles Lakers had finally started to build some momentum, winning 6 of their last 7 games and pulling into 8th place in the Western Conference standings.

However, in the 4th quarter of the Lakers' 96-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, Kobe Bryant suffered a severe ankle sprain, and according to Yahoo's Ball Don't Lie Blog, will be out indefinitely.

Bryant took the ball from Lakers point guard Steve Nash and drove right against defender Dahntay Jones, whom the Hawks recently picked up from the Dallas Mavericks. Bryant rose and faded toward the baseline to attempt a game-tying 18-foot jumper with less than six seconds left on the clock. The jumper went long and was rebounded by Korver, but before it even hit the rim, Bryant had come down and landed awkwardly with his left foot on top of Jones' right.

It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway — any extended absence for Bryant, who leads the Lakers in scoring and ranks second on the team in assists per game, figures to be devastating for an L.A. squad just starting to round into form and play its best ball of the season, winning four straight, six of its last seven and nine of 11 since the All-Star break heading into Wednesday night.

With Kobe out indefinitely, do you think the Lakers' playoffs hopes are doomed? Vote in the poll and leave your comments below.

Danielle Hobeika 3/14/2013 12:34:00 AM Edit
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