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. - Kobe Bryant isnt happy about spending Christmas Day on the sideline, unable to help the struggling Los Angeles Lakers. Its a place hes unaccustomed to being on the holiday. Bryant leads the NBA with a record 15 appearances on Christmas Day, but hes out an expected four to six weeks with a fracture in his left knee. "Its strange to be coming in on Christmas and not playing," he said before the Lakers hosted the streaking Miami Heat on Wednesday. "Its a foreign feeling, but Im here to support my guys." LeBron James and Co. has won five in a row; the Lakers have dropped two straight. "We need you tonight," Lakers guard Nick Young told the crowd before tipoff. Bryants injury was diagnosed last week, his second major one of the season. He didnt play his first game until Dec. 8 after nearly eight months away while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. Then he got hurt again Dec. 17 at Memphis while playing his fourth game in five nights. "I was fortunate that it was not a meniscus," he said. Initially, Bryant didnt think he was seriously hurt against Memphis. He went down late in the third quarter, but returned to finish out the victory in which he logged a season-high 21 points in 32 minutes. "I didnt know it was fractured," he said. "I was expecting a bone bruise more than anything else. I thought (the doctor) was joking when he told me." Bryant has been limited to riding a bike; he isnt supposed to put any pressure on his knee. "Its just been slow in terms of laying off it and letting it heal," he said. "When you dont have activity, you got to watch the other parts like nutrition." Typical of Bryants attention to detail, he said hes been reading critical comments that suggest he wont return this season. "Its the same old tune, just being sung a little more loudly now," he said. "These type of things just help me lock in more." Asked if theres any chance he wont be back, Bryant replied, "Not that Im aware of." Los Angeles signed the 35-year-old guard to a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension in November. James, along with other NBA players, tweeted out well wishes to Bryant, although the two superstars havent talked. "Especially games like today, you want to have the best guys out there," James said. After the Achilles injury, Bryant expressed rare self-doubt. He hasnt felt any this time. "The knee is not really a concern to me," he said. "The biggest question was would the Achilles respond to my game. It felt fine. It was strong." Bryant was looking forward to playing against the defending NBA champions as a way to see where he was physically with his Achilles. "This was a really big measuring stick," he said. Instead, he sat at the end of the bench wearing a black suit and print T-shirt. "My spirits are fine," he said. "I feel more locked in now than my entire career." Wholesale Jerseys
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. The 114th-ranked Lorenzi broke Monacos serve to go up 4-3 in the decisive set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 34 minutes at the Ibirapuera Arena. The 32-year-old Italian squandered a match point before losing the second set, but was in control in the third to pick up the win in the ATP 250 tournament in South Americas biggest city.AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Indiana Pacers lost six of their first nine games last season -- and they seem intent on making up for that in 2013. "We just want play well and get out of the gates," centre Roy Hibbert said. "Were an experienced team and we know every wins important." Paul George scored 31 points, and the Pacers remained the NBAs only unbeaten team with a 99-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night. Indiana matched its best start in franchise history. The Pacers are 4-0 for the first time since the 2004-05 season. Indiana blew a 15-point lead in the first half but took control again with a strong third quarter. C.J. Watson had 15 points and David West finished with 12 for the Pacers. Hibbert had eight points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks. Indiana will try to extend its unbeaten run Wednesday night against Chicago. "It would be a big win, a huge confidence booster," George said. "But its no statement. The seasons still early." Brandon Jennings scored 17 points for the Pistons, who were done in by their 5-for-25 shooting from 3-point range. Detroit led 44-40 early in the third quarter before the Pacers went on a 15-2 run capped by an alley-oop to George. He scored 14 points in the quarter, and Indiana led 74-63 entering the fourth. "Our starters disposition and attitude and energy took the game back over," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We were able to ride it out." Detroit cut the deficit to four early in the final period, but Indiana responded with six straight points to lead 82-72. The Pacers stretched the lead to 19 at 94-75 before the Pistons rallied in the final minutes to make the final score more respectable. It was 96-91 after Detroits Kyle Singler made two free throws with 32.6 seconds left, but the Pacers broke Detroits pressure and the Pistons didnt foul. West made a layup with 16.6 seconds left. The Pacers have won six straight over the Pistons, and the previous three wins had been lopsided, by 19, 32 and 18 poiints. Wholesale Jerseys From China
. The Pacers were without George Hill (sore left hip) for a second straight game, and Danny Granger is still out with a strained left calf, but they havent allowed an opponent to shoot better than 40 per cent from the field. Detroit finished at 38 per cent and could not overcome its poor showing from the perimeter. "They were aggressive, and we didnt respond," Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. "The paint was packed in, but we still have to attack the basket and either make shots or get to the line. Its a lot easier to do that when you are hitting shots from the perimeter, but you still have to do it." Greg Monroe had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons. "They have monster size and great guards -- very proud of the effort," Vogel said. "Paul George did everything I asked him to do -- everything you could possibly ask a player to do tonight." George made his first five shots and finished the first quarter with 12 points, helping the Pacers to a 29-14 lead. Then they were outscored 27-9 in the second. "We had to just get back to sharing the ball," George said. "We were making a lot of one-on-one plays. We were getting really pressured out up top and just not getting into our offence." Jennings, acquired in an off-season trade, made his first start for the Pistons in his second game with his new team. He was injured for the first two games of the season, and Detroit looked out of sorts offensively Tuesday. Josh Smith, another new acquisition this season for Detroit, scored 16 points but shot 5 of 16. He went 1 of 6 from beyond the arc. "Thats a team that has been together for a number of years, and were still getting to know each other," Smith said. "Thats important, but we still have to do a better job than we did." NOTES: Indiana also started 4-0 in 1989-90, according to STATS. ... Detroits starting backcourt of Jennings and Chauncey Billups went 8 for 25, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range. ' ' '