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NBA notebook: Lakers’ Bryant tears rotator cuff

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant sustained a torn rotator cuff during the second half of a 96-80 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night in New Orleans.

The Lakers announced Thursday that the findings were the result of a preliminary MRI taken in San Antonio. Bryant was return to Los Angeles on Thursday to undergo further examination by team doctors on Friday. If the diagnosis is confirmed, the injury would likely require surgery and his season would be over.

The 36-year-old Bryant has played in 35 games this season after returning from an Achilles injury that sidelined him last year. He is averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists for the struggling Lakers, who are in last place in the Pacific Division with a 12-31 record after losing six straight games.

—Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry edged Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James as the fans’ No. 1 choice in voting for the 64th NBA All-Star Game to be played Feb. 15 in New York, according to results announced by the NBA on Thursday.

Thanks to a late surge that made up a deficit of 13,285 votes, Curry received 1,513,324 votes — more than the 1,470,483 received by James.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr will lead the Western Conference, and Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer will coach the Eastern Conference.

The Western Conference starters, as selected by fans: Curry, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol and L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin. The Eastern Conference starters: James, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry and Washington Wizards guard John Wall.

—Miami guard Dwyane Wade was fined $15,000 after he made an obscene gesture at the end of the third quarter during the Heat’s 78-76 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night in Charlotte, N.C.

Television cameras captured Wade extending his middle finger, but it was not shown on the air. An NBA security official reported seeing Wade make the gesture. A fan near the Heat bench had heckled Wade about his age during the game.

The 33-year-old Wade scored 17 points but made just 8 of 21 shots from the field.

—The Memphis Grizzlies called up free-agent forward Tyrus Thomas from the NBA Development League on Thursday and signed him to a 10-day contract.

The 6-foot-10 Thomas was averaging 14.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in two games for the Iowa Energy in the D-League in the past week.

—The Phoenix Suns sent rookies guard Tyler Ennis and forward T.J. Warren to Bakersfield of the NBA Development League on Thursday.

Ennis and Warren are headed to Bakersfield for the third time this season. Ennis is averaging 18.2 points, 5.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals in five games for the Jam. Warren averages 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals in five games with Bakersfield.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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