Lakers continue playoff push with Bryant against San Antonio


LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — The Los Angeles Lakers continue their push for a playoff slot on Sunday night with a difficult assignment against the San Antonio Spurs.

San Antonio at LA Lakers Live
Date: Sunday, April 14, 2013
Time: 9:30 PM ET
Place: Staples Center
Live TV: KENS (San Antonio), TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles), NBA TV

Mike D’Antoni’s side currently holds the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference, but need to win more games to hold off the Utah Jazz who are also battling for the same spot.

The Lakers (43-37) head into the game without leader and All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who suffered and season ending torn Achilles tendon in Friday’s 118-116 home victory over Golden State Warriors.

Bryant successfully underwent surgery and is out for 6-9 weeks the Lakers said.

“We know he’s out, but we can’t put our heads down like it’s over with,” said Lakers center Dwight Howard. “We have to go out there and play.

“We have a lot of talented guys on this team. I think we can accomplish something great, with or without Kobe.”

Meanwhile, veteran point guard Steve Nash will miss his seventh game in a row with a hamstring injury.

San Antonio (58-21) is a half game behind Oklahoma City in the race for the best record in West, but will return to the top with a win over the Lakers Sunday night.

Lakers have won seven of its last 10 games and are on a three game winning streak.

Spurs, in the meantime, have split its last 10, but have lost each of the last 5 games on the road.