Kobe Bryant foul upgraded by NBA
The foul Kobe Bryant committed against New Orleans center Emeka Okafor in Game 5 was upgraded to a flagrant one.
Bryant smacked Okafor across the face and neck with 3:14 left in the game Tuesday night at Staples Center but was called for just a foul on the play.
But after the NBA reviewed the play, Bryant had his foul upgraded.
The Lakers were informed of the upgrade during Thursday's shoot-around.
Incidentally, Okafor missed both free throws on the play.
-- Broderick Turner, reporting from New Orleans
Photo: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, fouls New Orleans Hornets center Emeka Okafor as he goes up for a shot during the second half in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / AP