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Kobe Bryant foul upgraded by NBA

April 28, 2011 |  1:50 pm

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