The biggest news in the sports world last night was that Kobe Bryant had returned to practice for the first time in almost seven months. The 35-year-old superstar tore his Achilles back in April, and there’s been constant speculation ever since regarding Bryant’s future. Now, the doubters have been silenced as the Black Mamba looks poised for a return sooner rather than later. “I feel like I’m ahead of schedule. If there was a playoff game tonight, I’d play. I’d play. I don’t know how effective I’d be, but I would play. The fadeaway still works, the ballhandling, being able to post. Those are things that I can do right now. But it’s not the playoffs, thank god,” Bryant told NBA TV. Of course, Kobe didn’t actually play, so let’s get to the night’s top performers.
On the college gridiron, the top three teams in the nation all picked up blowout wins to keep their records perfect. No. 1 Alabama had their way with Mississippi State with a 20-7 win, No. 2 Florida State embarrassed Syracuse 59-3, and No. 3 Ohio State put a 60-35 hurting on Illinois. Another noteworthy game took place in Austin, Texas between No. 12 Oklahoma State and the No. 24 Longhorns. In the end, Oklahoma State advanced to 9-1 with a 38-13 win thanks to a big night from quarterback Clint Chelf.
In the NBA, it was more or less business as usual, with Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Blake Griffin leading the night in scoring. Kyrie Irving was especially impressive with 41 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. Meanwhile, LeBron and Blake had 30 points apiece.
All this (sans the Mamba) plus Saturday’s college hoops action up next.
Riley Jones is a freelance writer from Charlottesville, VA and a contributor to Sneaker Report. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things ’90s, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.
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