DENVER — The issues appears to be a slam dunk, even if Kobe Bryant is not expected to throw down any more of those.
After sitting out of Saturday’s loss in Oklahoma City with a sore right shoulder, Bryant is expected to play when the Lakers (3-23) visit the Denver Nuggets (11-16) on Tuesday at Pepsi Center. Bryant also returned to Denver on Monday after spending time in Sunday in Los Angeles with his family.
“He’s back and feeling better. He feels good enough where he wants to play,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said following Monday’s practice. “If he’s already said he’s ready to go and good to go, I know him. That means a little pain doesn’t matter to him. He’ll be ready to play tomorrow.”
Bryant stayed at the team hotel to rest during the Lakers’ 45-minute practice. But Scott said he has told Bryant to attend morning shootaround on Tuesday to complete a light shooting session to recapture his rhythm.
Bryant has averaged 16.7 points on 33.9 percent shooting and 3.4 assists. But he has shown more efficiency recently, averaging 20.3 points on 50.8 percent shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists in the past five contests. Scott plans to play Bryant around his season average, which is 30.8 minutes per game.