LOS ANGELES — Tuesday night against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, and for the third straight game, Kobe Bryant will be sitting out for the Lakers due to a sore shoulder.
This time, he will be joined on the bench by rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell, who is battling a sore throat.
Hey, coach Byron Scott, are you becoming concerned about the length of Bryant’s absence?
“No, not really,” Scott said before tip-off. “Again, he keeps saying he feels better, so that’s a good sign, that he’s continuing to get better. It’s just taking a little longer than he thought, I guess.”
Kobe remains day-to-day, the Lakers play next Thursday in Sacramento. Scott said he expects Russell will be ready to go by Thursday.
The Lakers have won the last two without Bryant, beating the league-worst Sixers and the only team playing worse than Philly the last 10 games in Phoenix. It’s a different test against the 32-2 Warriors, who are getting healthy again. Stephen Curry will start for Golden State, and Harrison Barnes will again come off the bench for them (with Brandon Rush starting), Golden State coach Luke Walton said.
Even with all the injuries, the Warriors have kept on winning, and Scott said he hopes his team could take something away from that.
“It seems with them it doesn’t matter who plays, it’s the same mentality, they are going to come out ready to go” Scott said. “We’re going to be hard pressed to stop them for 48 minutes, so like I told our guys, this is a great challenge for us, to see where we are and how far we’ve come.”