DALLAS (AP) — Kobe Bryant is sitting out his third straight game to rest his sore body but could be back in the lineup when the Lakers return home for their next outing.
Bryant was ruled out Friday night at Dallas, but coach Byron Scott said his star "feels pretty good about going" Sunday night against Phoenix.
The 36-year-old Bryant has said his knees, feet, back and Achilles tendons are all sore.
He was sidelined Tuesday night when Los Angeles beat NBA-leading Golden State at home, then again Christmas night at Chicago. The game against the Mavericks was the third in four nights for the Lakers.
"If he had felt good he would have gone last night and tonight as well," Scott said before the Lakers faced the Mavericks, who beat them 140-106 last month in Dallas. "Just didn't feel good last night and back-to-back 24 hours, not going to feel a whole lot better. I think he feels pretty good about going for Sunday's game."
Scott said a reduction in Bryant's minutes was likely a consideration when he returns. He's averaging a team-high 35.5 minutes, about 3 fewer per game than his past two full seasons in 2011-2012 and 2012-13.
Bryant tore his left Achilles late in the 2012-13 season, and played just six games last season after breaking a bone in his left knee last December.
"We both thought that 30-40 minute mark was pretty good," Scott said. "Obviously we're going to have to adjust that a little bit. But this is new for both of us."
In his 19th NBA season, Bryant entered Friday third in the league in scoring at 24.6 points per game. He passed Michael Jordan for third place on the career scoring list Dec. 14 at Minnesota.