LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant‘s entire 37-year-old body is aching for an ice bath and a day off just 10 games into his 20th NBA season.
Bryant still put in the extra effort necessary to make sure those 10 games weren’t the worst start to a season in Lakers history.
Bryant had 17 points, eight rebounds and nine assists to help Los Angeles beat the Detroit Pistons 97-85 Sunday night for its second win of the year.
Andre Drummond had 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons, who finished a six-game West Coast trip with their fourth consecutive loss.
Bryant went 6 for 19 from the field during a season-high 37 minutes, but finished with a season-high in assists. He stayed in until the Lakers’ win was assured, even though it meant he won’t play in the Lakers’ game in Phoenix on Monday to rest.
“We’ve got to get this win here at home,” Bryant said. “(But) right now, I’m barely standing up. My back and my legs, it’s killing me. I go home, and I’m looking forward to that ice bath and the stretch, and a full day of recovery tomorrow. … I’m not looking forward to walking to the car. Seriously.”
Jordan Clarkson scored 17 points and Los Angeles snapped a four-game skid in its return from a long East Coast trip. The Lakers are only 2-8, but that’s one game better than last season’s Lakers, whose 1-9 start led to the worst record in the franchise’s history.
“We needed this one,” Clarkson said. “We really dug down defensively.”