Kobe Bryant to miss third game of four: 'Back, legs killing me'

LOS ANGELES -- Lakers star Kobe Bryant will not play Monday against the Phoenix Suns, which will mark the third time in the past four games that the 37-year-old sat out to rest.

"Right now, I'm barely standing up. My back and my legs, man, it's killing me," he said Sunday after playing a season-high 36 minutes in a 97-85 win over the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center.

Bryant, who is in his 20th season with the Lakers, finished with 17 points on an inefficient 6-of-19 shooting from the field. He added a game-high nine assists and eight rebounds.

"I'm not looking forward to walking to the car right now," Bryant said. "Seriously."

Lakers coach Byron Scott said he and Bryant agreed Bryant, whose past three seasons have been cut short by injury, would play the entire fourth quarter because the game was close.

"We needed this [win]," Scott said. "I just wanted him to go the rest of the game and see if he could get the [win]."

Bryant agreed with the approach.

"We hadn't won one at home," Bryant said. "To lose another one at home would be disastrous."

Bryant said he was mildly concerned about playing too many minutes, given his injury history.

"But we talked about it ... we had to push through," Bryant said. "We had to get this one done and take a day tomorrow."

The Lakers improved to 2-8 and avoided tying their worst 10-game start in franchise history, a mark they set last season.

Scott said he wasn't sure if this trend of Bryant playing heavy minutes during the first game of a back-to-back before sitting out the second game would continue.

"We talked about this might be a trend, where he's going to play one or the other, and probably the one that he plays [in], again, he'll probably play a little bit more than he'd normally play," Scott said.