Kobe Bryant to rest for a game? Lakers ponder the matter

 Kobe Bryant to rest for a game? Lakers ponder the matter
Lakers star Kobe Bryant, left, speaks with Coach Byron Scott during a game against the San Antonio Spurs last December. (Eric Gay / Associated Press)

Lakers Coach Byron Scott said Monday he's still mulling whether to rest a weary and struggling Kobe Bryant for Tuesday night's home game against the Golden State Warriors.

"Not yet," Scott said when asked if he'd made a decision.


Scott said he also hadn't yet decided whether it would be preferable to sit Bryant for one of Lakers' back-to-back games on the road this week: in Chicago against the Bulls on Christmas Day or the next day in Dallas against the Mavericks.

"I'm going to sit down and talk to him again today," Scott said. "We're going to try to formulate a plan to best suit him, so when he is on the court he can go out and play at full strength instead of trying to will himself through these games."

Bryant, 36, was given Monday off and did not practice with the team.

In the Lakers' 108-101 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, Bryant made only eight of 30 shots (26.7%), the sixth time in his last seven games that he's failed to hit 40% shooting. Bryant's career field-goal percentage is 45.2% but he's shooting at a career-low 37.2% this season.

"He's tired, man," Bryant's teammate Jordan Hill said. "He's trying. Being the player he is, he's trying to go out there and give it his all."

Scott said the idea of sitting Bryant to preserve his stamina "is new to both of us."

"He's in agreement with whatever I want to do with him, as far as sitting him down a game or whatever," Scott said.

"But I think [it's] not only the next game or the next two games, we've got to talk about the next 40 games ... and try to figure out the best possible way to do this thing," Scott said.

Scott acknowledged, however, that his decision on when to rest Bryant could depend on whether the Lakers are home or on the road.

"At home it definitely impacts my decision because I know how he wants to play in front of the [local] fans, and I know how much the fans would love to see him play," Scott said. "That is definitely something we've got to take into consideration. On the road is a totally different story."

Lakers' lineup

Scott said he was "still feeling OK" about the change he made in the Lakers' starting lineup early this month to bolster the team's defense.

Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin were dropped from the starting five and replaced with Ed Davis and Ronnie Price. The team has gone 3-4 in the seven games since the change.

"I've got about eight more games, to 13, that I'm going to look at it again and go from there," Scott said. "And if I have to make [more] changes, I will."


Big shot

Scott told his players Monday that if any of them could sink a half-court shot during practice, he'd end the practice early.

Hill did just that, much to his teammates' delight.

"It saved them about 30 minutes of being on their feet, so it will give them a little bit more rest so they can be able to, hopefully, run around Golden State tomorrow," Scott said.



When: 7:30.

Where: Staples Center.

On the air: TWC SportsNet, TWC Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.

Records: Lakers 8-19, Warriors 22-3 through Sunday.

Record vs. Warriors: 0-2.

Update: The Lakers have their work cut out against Golden State, whose losses this season are the fewest in the NBA. The Warriors already have defeated the Lakers twice this season, a 127-104 win Nov. 1 at Oracle Arena and a 136-115 victory Nov. 16 at Staples Center. Stephen Curry and backcourt mate Klay Thompson were averaging a combined 45.5 points per game before Monday's games.

Twitter: @PeltzLATimes