The expected returns came under different circumstances.
After continuing his season-long trend to miss most practices, Kobe Bryant has overcome enough pain in his right shoulder that he is expected to play in Sunday’s game against the New York Knicks at Staples Center.
“I’ll find out more tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “But I expect against Carmelo [Anthony] and the Knicks, there’s a good chance he’ll probably go.”
After completing his first practice on Saturday since nursing a strained left hamstring in the past week, Lou Williams will return in Sunday’s game against New York.
“We had a couple of scrimmages and he did everything,” Scott said. “Unless he has a setback tomorrow, he’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
There’s no mystery on Bryant’s role. The Lakers’ 37-year-old star will start as he always has. But Scott said he has not decided whether Williams’ return off the bench will result in reduced minutes for rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell, backup point guard Marcelo Huertas or both.
Both Russell and Huertas have played well recently. Russell has averaged 20.6 points on 41.6 percent shooting and 4.8 assists in 33.4 minutes in the past five games. Huertas has averaged 9.4 points on a 52.8 percent clip and 6.0 assists in 28.2 minutes in the past five games.