Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott said Sunday that he plans to sit guard Kobe Bryant against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Monday's game is the second night of a back-to-back, with the Lakers hosting the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.
Monday's game is the second night of a back-to-back, with the Lakers hosting the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. The team is off Tuesday, meaning Bryant will have two days of rest before returning against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
The move continues Scott's plan of limiting Bryant's playing time so the 36-year-old can remain fresh deeper into the season. Scott said last month he was planning on resting Bryant more and attempting to limit him to 32 minutes or less in games Bryant does play.
After averaging 35.4 minutes per game through the first 27 games of the season, Bryant sat for three consecutive games late last month and averaged 32.3 minutes per game in the three full games he's subsequently played.
While saying he's pleased with the early results of his plan to limit Bryant's playing time, Scott emphasized this week that he wants Bryant to continue to take a high volume of shots, reacting to Bryant's 21 combined shot attempts in the first two games after his three-game break.
Bryant is averaging 23.8 points, 5.3 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game this season. He passed Michael Jordan for No. 3 on the NBA's all-time scoring list in the Lakers' game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 14.
The Lakers entered play Sunday at 10-23, the second-worst record in the Western Conference.
- Ben Estes