LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Lakers scratched Kobe Bryant from Friday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers because of a sore right shoulder.
This was the fifth game the third-leading scorer in NBA history has sat out this season, and the second in two weeks because of shoulder issues. The 20-year veteran, who turned 37 in August, announced on Nov. 29 that this would be his final season.
Bryant is averaging 17.2 points in 29 games for the Lakers, who entered Friday with the second-worst record in the league behind Philadelphia at 6-27.
Los Angeles was coming off a 112-104 victory at Boston on Wednesday night in which Bryant recorded his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes. He shot 5 for 18 from the field.
''We talked in the third quarter of the Boston game, because he kept trying to get it loose,'' said coach Byron Scott, who started rookie Anthony Brown at small forward in Bryant's place.
''Kobe told me: `I just can't get it loose, but I can do other things.' So there was nothing at that time that really affected him as far as his play, but today and yesterday it probably even stiffened up a little more,'' Scott said. ''So he just wants to try to get it under control as much as possible before he plays again.''