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NBA roundup: Bryant returns to Lakers practice

The SportsXchange

Los Angeles Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant, recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, returned to practice on Saturday, according to USA Today.

Bryant was injured in April and there has been no timetable for his return. He said throughout the summer that is was ahead of schedule but is finally on the practice floor.

The latest expectation was that he could return by Christmas. Because he practiced fully Saturday, that could be a sign that he may return even earlier.

Bryant recently told NBA TV that he would play if the postseason were now.

"I feel like I'm ahead of schedule," he said. "If there was a playoff game tonight, I'd play."

The Lakers definitely could use him as they are off to a 4-7 start to the season. They host the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.

---Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers was suspended one game without pay for throwing a forearm and making contact with the head of Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, the NBA announced.

The incident drew a Flagrant Foul 2 and Chalmers was ejected. It occurred with 5:01 left in the fourth quarter of Miami's 110-104 win at home Friday. Chalmers had four points, three assists and two rebounds in 24 minutes.

Chalmers will serve the suspension Saturday night at the Charlotte Bobcats.

---New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was fined $25,000 by the NBA for using "hostile and inappropriate language" toward Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings on Twitter.

Jennings criticized Smith's brother, Chris, who also plays for the Knicks. Smith responded by writing "Might call some of my Number street homies an put #Detroit on smash for a min! #DeadSerious."

Smith later deleted the tweet.

Eight players have been fined for Twitter incidents since 2009, with Smith and Knicks forward/center Amar'e Stoudemire the only two fined twice.

---Free agent small forward Lamar Odom met with Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, according to multiple reports.

No deal is imminent, but the Clippers reportedly have interest in re-signing Odom, who is coming off a troubled summer.

The Los Angeles Lakers are also reportedly interested in Odom, but both teams want assurance that his personal and legal issues are behind him.

According to reports from ESPN and Yahoo! Sports, Odom has been working out for the past month in hopes of making a comeback in the second half of the season.

Odom made headlines due a tumultuous August that included an arrested for suspicion of DUI and drug allegations.

Last season, Odom averaged 4.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 82 games for the Clippers.
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