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Bryant Is Treated With Fluids

Kobe Bryant received three liters of intravenous fluid before Monday night’s game, the last as his Laker teammates warmed up for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals at Arco Arena, because of what medical personnel suspect was food poisoning.

The final player off the team bus early in the evening, Bryant walked gingerly across the court to the visitors’ locker room. He was expressionless as half a dozen television cameramen backpedaled ahead of him.

Bryant telephoned Laker trainer Gary Vitti from his hotel room at 4:30 Monday morning, having vomited for most of the night. He’d eaten a room-service dinner of a bacon cheeseburger and a slice of cheesecake.

Vitti rushed to Bryant’s room.

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“He was doubled over like a shrimp,” Vitti said.

Vitti administered medication and Bryant slept most of the morning, until the team returned from the shoot-around. Bryant awoke just before noon and took further treatment.

Vitti said he ruled out a virus because Bryant lacked the symptoms, typically a fever and muscle aches. Phil Jackson and Vitti both downplayed the possibility that Bryant, who scored 30 points in Game 1, was intentionally poisoned.

“I don’t believe in that kind of stuff,” Vitti said. “I spoke to some of the people at the hotel and they served 1,200 room-service meals and there wasn’t any other cases. Sometimes, these things happen.”

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Jackson, on Bryant’s diet: “He’s young. He doesn’t know any better.”

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After spending most of the first two series at the end of the bench, Lindsey Hunter has played important defensive minutes late against San Antonio’s Tony Parker and Sacramento’s Mike Bibby.

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Hunter said he hadn’t considered Jackson’s plan for him.

“I don’t think,” Hunter said. “I don’t really think about that kind of stuff. I love playing basketball. I haven’t played much, but I still love it.

“That’s what you want to do. You want to feel like you’re a part of it, that you’re helping as much as you can.”

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Every series, Derek Fisher is “the other point guard.”

People mention Damon Stoudamire, Parker, Bibby, and what they’re going to do to the Lakers.

“I just go out and play ball,” Fisher said. “It’s more about winning for me and not really my individual matchup. I take it very seriously, being able to defend against anybody I play against.”


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