By Melissa Rohlin
9:55 AM PST, December 11, 2013
Kobe Bryant almost tripped over a cable when he walked into the post-game interview room after Tuesday's game, stumbling, then mumbling under his breath how that would have been interesting.
At least the Lakers' superstar had better luck on the court.
He finished with 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting in the Lakers' 114-108 loss to the Phoenix Suns, a much better showing than his season debut Sunday -- a nine-point performance on two-for-nine shooting.
Bryant did a lot more in his 29 minutes on the court this time around, showing that he can play above the rim on several plays, including making a dunk on his first shot attempt.
"I felt good, I felt really comfortable in terms of where to operate from, not so much on the top of the floor, but more elbow and below, and running a lot of screen and rolls, and putting a lot of pressure on the defense that way, whereas in the past, I was pretty much handling the ball most of the time," Bryant said.
That's not the only adjustment he's making.
For Bryant, his first games back this season are what he calls his preseason. He wants to drop weight, adding that he lost five pounds off his then 225-pound frame during Sunday's game, and saying he needs to gradually get his legs back under him. He gave his performance in Sunday's game an "F" but improved in Tuesday's game to a "B."
There's also the chemistry thing.
Bryant and his teammates, especially the new ones, need to learn how to play together, an issue that was highlighted by an awkward fourth quarter with him and Nick Young.
"It's a learning experience," Bryant said. "When you have a young team, you have to remember constantly that it's a marathon, not a sprint. You have to allow them to play and make mistakes."
All in all, Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said he thought that last two games had been positive despite both being losses.
"He's going to get better and he'll get his legs under him a little more and he'll lengthen a little bit," D'Antoni said of Bryant.
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