By Baxter Holmes | ESPN.com
The 36-year-old Bryant will sit out to rest for the second straight game, Lakers coach Byron Scott announced before the game.
“It’s extremely difficult, especially playing here, playing on Christmas Day and playing in this city. I love playing here,” Bryant said. “The fans have always been great. There’s always a lot of energy in the building. At the same time, I’ve just got to try to be smart. It’s really going against my nature, but I’ve got to be smart about this.”
When asked if there was any particular injury hampering him, Bryant cited age and soreness.
“Old age. My knees are sore at this stage of the season,” he said. “My Achilles are sore — both of them. My metatarsals are tight, back is tight. I just need to kind of hit the re-set button.”
Bryant also said he’ll likely play fewer minutes going forward. When asked about the chances that he’d play Friday in Dallas against the Mavericks, Bryant said, they’re “slim right now.”
Bryant was listed as probable to play in his 16th career Christmas Day game, but Scott said Bryant notified him of general soreness Thursday morning and decided to sit him out. Scott said he didn’t get much resistance from Bryant.
Bryant is averaging 24.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game this season.
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