Kobe Bryant stays home, Dwight Howard makes the trip

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant flips a no-look pass as his drive is cut off by Kings guard James Johnson in a preseason game Sunday.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

SAN DIEGO -- Kobe Bryant is still bothered by a strained right foot so he stayed home, 60 miles north of the Lakers’ exhibition game Thursday at Valley View Casino Center.

Dwight Howard, however, will play against the Sacramento Kings, his second game since back surgery last April.

Bryant was injured when he tripped over Kings forward Thomas Robinson on Sunday while cutting through the lane to receive a pass from Pau Gasol. Bryant stayed in the game but the foot ballooned on him overnight. He hasn’t practiced since then and will miss his second exhibition game.


“We just felt that it didn’t make sense for him” to travel, Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. “He’d need to keep it elevated and some other things for a two-hour-plus bus ride down and a two-hour-plus bus ride back.”

It was unclear whether Bryant would play in the regular-season opener Tuesday against Dallas.

“I don’t know if he will or not,” Brown said.

The Lakers are 0-7 in exhibition play, their worst start in preseason games. They’ve already lost twice to the Kings.


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