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Bryant to Rest Against Magic
For the second time in three games and fifth time in 10, Kobe Bryant will not suit up for the Lakers. Like the other games he missed, Bryant will sit out Friday’s matchup with the Orlando Magic in order to rest.
“I talked to him a little bit today, asked him how he felt,” head coach Byron Scott said at his pregame press conference. “He said he felt OK, so (I said), ‘OK, you’re resting tonight.'
“It’s pretty simple. That’s pretty much it, to be honest with you. He didn’t fight me on it. (He) stuck to his word as far as allowing me to make that decision for him, and I just thought tonight would be a another good night for him to rest."
Scott said he decided to sit Bryant because he didn’t have “that conviction that he feels great.” Scott maintained that the 36-year-old’s availability is evaluated before each game and that there is no weekly or monthly plan for his rest.
“It’s going to be a game-to-game type decision,” Scott said. “A lot of it depends on how I feel that he feels. And the one thing that he has been with me is totally honest, and that’s all I can ask for. And if I don’t think that he feels 110 percent, then I’m gonna sit him down.”
With Bryant and Wesley Johnson out, Wayne Ellington and Ryan Kelly will step into the starting lineup. The Lakers are 1-3 without Bryant this season, but Orlando head coach Jacque Vaughn is wary of taking L.A.’s remaining players lightly.
“Being a player on a team, you use this as an opportunity to show the coach that you can play, and you can play as a team even with your superstar out,” Vaughn said. “I know those guys in the other locker room will be ready to play.”
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