Kobe sits out again to rest when Lakers face Magic

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.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.