Kobe Bryant will play against New Orleans Pelicans tonight

Kobe Bryant will play against New Orleans Pelicans tonight
Lakers star Kobe Bryant gestures during a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday. Bryant will play Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Kobe Bryant will play tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans, his first game action since last Thursday against Cleveland.

Bryant sat out the Lakers' last two games, both losses, and had skipped eight of the last 15.

The Lakers (12-30) are going nowhere and will have to deal with the rest-vs.-rust debate for Bryant the rest of the season. He might look fine against New Orleans, or he might look like a player who sat out almost a week.

There really isn't any way around it, Lakers Coach Byron Scott said Wednesday. "Unless we want [him] to play the remainder of the 40 games or whatever and just wear himself out. And that's definitely not in our plans.

"He's going to have days where he's going to rest and when he comes back, normally the first game he's a little rusty and then he gets his timing and then everything's back the next game. It's just something we've got to live with. It's something he's got to live with as well."

Bryant, 36, played well in his last outing, handing out a career-high 17 assists against Cleveland.

"We've got to take the good with the bad," Scott said. "The good is that his body is being preserved, he's been able to go out there and play. But the bad part is that he's going to be a little rusty at times."

Scott wasn't sure if point guard Ronnie Price (sore elbow) would play against New Orleans.