'Lively' Kobe makes progress in second preseason game

Kobe Bryant had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting in almost 21 minutes against the Jazz on Tuesday. AP Photo/Marco Garcia

HONOLULU -- Kobe Bryant looked night-and-day different in his second preseason game, so much so that Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott couldn't stop gushing about his team's 37-year-old star.

"I don't know if it's a rebirth or what, but he looked really good and just very fluid in his movements," Scott said of Bryant after the Lakers' 117-114 overtime loss to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center.

Bryant swooshed his first two shots, a midrange jumper and then a 3-pointer from the right wing, and he finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting in nearly 21 minutes.

"I feel fine," Bryant said. "The timing is not perfect yet, but it'll get there pretty quickly."

Bryant scored five points on 1-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes during the Lakers' preseason loss to Utah on Sunday, his first game in nine months since suffering a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder that ended his 2014-15 season after 35 games.

Bryant said that he's past the recovery phase of his injury.

"It's just getting the timing down to feel like myself," he said.

Scott believes that Bryant looked close to his old self Tuesday.

"I thought he looked great," Scott said. "He was very lively, getting up and down the floor defensively. I thought he was fantastic."

Bryant was much more efficient in the second game, finishing with three assists to go along with two rebounds. He added a steal and shot 2-of-5 from 3-point range.

"I talked to him earlier [Tuesday] morning, [and] he said he felt great," Scott said. "Then during the game, I just told him, 'You look great.' You look like you're lively, light on his feet, running well, moving extremely well."

But Scott said the Lakers will stick to the game plan of giving Bryant limited minutes throughout the preseason and basing each decision of playing time on how Bryant feels.