Kobe Bryant out Friday vs. Denver, Sunday game up in air

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Kobe Bryant is going to miss another game due to his ongoing shin problems, he will not play Friday night as the Lakers take on Denver, coach Mike Brown told the media at the team’s shootaround.

He also would not speculate on if Kobe will be available for Sunday’s national television game against the Mavericks, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com. The game after that for the Lakers is Tuesday night against a Spurs team the Lakers beat without Kobe on Wednesday.

The Lakers could use Kobe as they fight for playoff positioning. Currently the Lakers are the three seed in the West, one game up on the Clippers. The concern is that the Memphis Grizzlies — playing as well as any team in the league right now and the squad everyone is trying to avoid in the first round — is the five seed. Whoever finishes second between the Lakers and Clippers likely gets Memphis in the first round. So the Lakers are feeling pressure to keep winning, with or without their star.