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Kobe Bryant's three-pointer was game-changer for Lakers

JERRY CROWE

Text messages from press row.

April 14, 2011|Jerry Crowe
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant flexes after hitting a three-point shot in overtime against the Kings on Wednesday night in Sacramento.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant flexes after hitting a three-point shot in overtime… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

Kobe Bryant's late three-point basket Wednesday night changed just about everything for the Lakers, sparing their fans a demon dose of angst heading into the playoffs. …

Without it, the Lakers fall to No. 3 in the West, face the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round instead of the New Orleans Hornets and probably open the second round at Dallas. …

It could reverberate for weeks. …

Bryant, on the Lakers' blowing a 20-point fourth-quarter lead against Marcus Thornton and the Sacramento Kings in what may have been the last NBA game played in the state capital: "I guess some of the ghosts from the past are still haunting us." …

The building known as Arco Arena during the Kings' Chris Webber-led heyday ranks among the best in the NBA to watch a game, its intimacy creating a collegiate atmosphere. …

It will be missed if the Kings, as expected, pull up stakes. …

Reader Ellen Alperstein of Santa Monica, rejecting an implication that only gay and lesbian groups would be upset by Bryant's much-discussed anti-gay slur, emails to note, "To suggest that his words offend only their target compartmentalizes the impact of universally repugnant behavior." …

Reader Chuck Reilly of Manhattan Beach emails to note, "Sitting close to the ice for Kings games at Staples Center, I've heard a lot worse coming from players' mouths." …

Ex-Kings playoff hero Adam Deadmarsh just completed his second season as a Colorado Avalanche assistant coach. …

Looking on the bright side for Corey Perry and the Ducks, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup a year ago after losing to the Nashville Predators in their playoff opener. …

Only eight times in 30 seasons under Donald Sterling's stewardship have the Clippers lost fewer than 50 games. …

Torii Hunter, on slump-ridden Angels teammate Vernon Wells, who singled to start a 12th-inning game-winning rally Wednesday night and scored to end it: "Uphill from here." …

Playing the next six weeks without injured shortstop Rafael Furcal won't make things any easier on the Dodgers. …

With LeBron James and the Miami Heat calling themselves the Heatles, a nod to the Beatles, humorist RJ Currie offers his top five pop act/sports figures matches: Sean Avery/Simple Minds; Lawrence Taylor/Bad Company; Tiger Woods/The Temptations; Barry Bonds/10cc; and Wilt Chamberlain/Loverboy. …

The new videoboard at the Coliseum, wide as a football field and four stories high, will be positioned at the west end. …

Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News, questioning Tyler Honeycutt's readiness for the NBA after a season in which the UCLA forward showed little consistency: "He's ready? OK, he's ready to order NBA League Pass on cable." …

Edgar Lacey was a UCLA basketball rarity, a player who quit the team in the middle of a championship season in 1968 and said of John Wooden, "I never enjoyed playing for that man." …

A new exhibition from the Pasadena-based Baseball Reliquary, titled "Halos & Horrors: 50 Years of Angels Baseball," is on display through May 26 at the Pomona Public Library. …

New San Francisco 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh, seeking a more tough-minded approach from much-maligned quarterback Alex Smith, tells the Sacramento Bee, "The question is, 'Do you have the baby deer skin or skin like an armadillo?' " …

Adding to the belief that an NBA lockout is a near certainty, the annual Las Vegas summer league reportedly has been axed. …

Among the players taken by the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA draft this week was Brittany Spears, who was no femme fatale as Colorado's all-time scoring leader. …

The original Pauley Pavilion center-jump circle, reportedly owned by the ex-wife of former UCLA basketball player Jim Spillane, is up for bid starting Friday through SCP Auctions. …

Information: (800) 350-2274 or scpauctions.com. …

Tom Brady, on waiting until the sixth round to be drafted in 2000, tells ESPN, "Finally, when the Patriots called, I was so excited: 'I don't have to be an insurance salesman.' "

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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