Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will sit out one game in each of the team's remaining back-to-backs. Bryant, 36, will not play Monday against the Trail Blazers after hitting the game-winning shot on Sunday against the Pacers. He sat out three straight games in December to rest and recover.
Lakers head coach Byron Scott said Bryant agreed with the decision to rest on Monday.
“You guys might think he probably argued about it and all that,” Scott told reporters before Sunday’s game, “but he said, ‘Sounds good to me.’ He stuck with his plan of, ‘Whatever you want to do.’”
“That’s basically what we’re going to stick to,” Scott said.
The approach is similar to how the Brooklyn Nets have handled 38-year-old power forward Kevin Garnett's minutes this season. While he did play on consecutive days once last month, Garnett has sat out the second game in five back-to-back sets this season.
After averaging 35.5 minutes per game during the team's first 27 games, Bryant has averaged just 32.3 minutes in his last four games.
On the season, Bryant is averaging 23.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting just 37.9 percent from the field.
The Lakers are 11-23 and have the second-worst record in the Western Conference. They are eight games behind the Suns for the final playoff spot in the West.
- Paul Palladino