Kobe Bryant to play today against Suns after three-game absence

Kobe Bryant to play today against Suns after resting for three games

Kobe Bryant will return to the court Sunday against Phoenix after missing three games for rest purposes.

The Lakers (9-21) went 1-2 in Bryant's absence, winning a stunner against Golden State but losing road games in Chicago and Dallas.

Bryant shot around a little bit Saturday and some more Sunday morning.

"He says he feels a whole lot better," Lakers Coach Byron Scott said Sunday. "He'll be ready to go."

Bryant's playing time will drop for the foreseeable future to about 32 or 33 minutes a game, Scott said. Bryant averaged 35.4 minutes in his first 27 games, one below his career average.

It was hard to predict where the most improvement would be seen in Bryant's game. His accuracy? His stamina? Fourth-quarter efficiency?

"Once you get fatigued, your body and everything just goes. And once you're rested, you almost feel rejuvenated. I would hope that we would see it in every aspect of the game. We'll just have to wait and see."

Bryant, 36, is averaging 24.6 points, a remarkable number for a player his age, but his efficiency has dropped dramatically. He is shooting only 37.2%, a huge drop from the 45.4% he shot in his career coming into this season.

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