January 09, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant is skipping a game to rest for the fifth time this season when the Los Angeles Lakers host Orlando.

Lakers coach Byron Scott announced his decision about 90 minutes before game time Friday night.

Scott is trying to keep the 19-year veteran in top shape by resting him, and Bryant has so far agreed with his coach's decisions. The 36-year-old Bryant missed three straight games last month, and the Lakers held him out of last Monday's loss at Portland.

Bryant is averaging 23.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game.

Forward Ryan Kelly will start in place of Bryant, giving the Lakers a taller lineup against the Magic. Starting forward Wesley Johnson also is out of the Lakers' lineup with a strained right hip flexor.

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