LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant is expected to miss about six weeks with an injured left knee, dealing the second major injury setback of the year to the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar guard.
An MRI exam Thursday revealed Bryant has a fracture in his lateral tibial plateau — the top of his shinbone near his knee.
Bryant made his season debut with the Lakers on Dec. 8 after nearly eight months away while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. He apparently was hurt again Tuesday night in Memphis while playing his fourth game in five nights.
After playing six games in 10 days, the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history is out again until February or longer — and the Lakers’ already miserable run of injuries got even uglier.
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“You hate it for Kobe,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s worked so hard to get back, but he’ll be back. He’ll be back in six weeks. We’ve just got to weather the storm until he gets back.”
The Lakers also announced Steve Nash will be out for at least four more weeks with nerve root irritation in his back, leaving Los Angeles without its top three point guards and Bryant — who filled in at point — for at least another week.
A tweet was posted on Bryant’s Twitter account that consisted solely of the hashtag: BrokenNotBeaten.
“I think he’ll be back in six weeks, and he’ll be hunting for some bear,” D’Antoni said.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 32 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 107-95 for its eighth straight win.
Russell Westbrook had 20 points and reserve Reggie Jackson added 18 to help the Thunder improve to 13-0 at Chesapeake Arena. Oklahoma City is the only NBA team with a perfect home record.
Joakim Noah had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the banged-up Bulls, who have lost four straight and seven of eight. Taj Gibson added 16 points.
• The San Antonio Spurs were without Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker when they played at the Golden State Warriors. Duncan and Ginobili were rested and Parker has a bruised right shin. Tiago Splitter tipped in a rebound with 2.1 seconds left to give the Spurs a 104-102 victory. Former Cougar Klay Thompson scored 13 points for the Warriors.
• Carlos Delfino underwent a second surgery on his injured right foot and he isn’t sure whether he will join the Milwaukee Bucks on the court this season.
• Reigning NBA MVP LeBron James is again on top of the NBA’s list of top-selling jerseys in the newest rankings. Bryant is No. 2, followed by Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, Durant and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks.