Bryant flies from court hearing in Colorado

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant arrived from Colorado in time to start Wednesday night's first-round playoff game against the Houston Rockets.

Looking worn and surrounded by bodyguards, Bryant showed up at
Staples Center 26 minutes before the opening tipoff after the third
and final day of pretrial hearings in his sexual assault hearing in
Eagle County.

Fourteen minutes later, Bryant was greeted warmly by the
hometown fans and teammates Derek Fisher, Devean George and Bryon Russell when he trotted onto the court for some brief pregame

Bryant received a loud ovation when introduced with the other
Lakers starters before the game.

Bryant missed practice Monday and Tuesday along with a
shootaround Wednesday because of the pretrail hearings. He is
expected to enter a plea at the next set of pretrial hearings May

The Lakers held a 3-1 lead over the Rockets entering Game 5 of
the best-of-seven series.