POSTED: Mar 17, 2013 10:39 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant wasn't in uniform when the Los Angeles Lakers tipped off Sunday night against the Sacramento Kings, missing his first game of the season to rest his sprained left ankle.
Jodie Meeks replaced Bryant in the starting lineup.
Bryant sprained his ankle last week in the waning seconds of a loss to Atlanta. He played the first quarter in Indiana on Friday night, but sat out the final three quarters of Los Angeles' victory.
Coach Mike D'Antoni said Bryant's availability would be a game-time decision against the lowly Kings, and the fifth-leading scorer in NBA history apparently elected to miss his first game since last season's finale.
The Lakers are still without Pau Gasol, but the 7-foot Spaniard is hoping he can return next week from a foot injury.