updated 12/26/2011 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 12/26/2011 AT 12:30 PM ET
Despite battling both a wrist injury and the hype surrounding his impending divorce, Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 33, scored a team-leading 28 points in L.A.’s first game of the NBA season.
But it was also Bryant who had what would have been a game-winning shot blocked in the final seconds, allowing the Bulls to win by a single point.
Playing in a record-setting 14th straight Christmas Day game, Bryant sported a large white wrap on his arm and was well-received by the crowd – despite Charles Barkley’s recent prediction that he’d be booed.
Other celebs in attendance included Maria Shriver and Lil’ Wayne, but Bryant’s ex, Vanessa, 29, who used to frequent the games with the couple’s two daughters, was nowhere to be seen.