Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, whose status was uncertain heading into the team's opener Tuesday night, was in the starting lineup against the Dallas Mavericks. Earlier Tuesday, Bryant said he was 85 percent sure he would play. Before the morning shootaround, in which Bryant participated, the 14-time All-Star had not played or practiced since he suffered a strained right foot in an Oct. 21 preseason game. Bryant started alongside his new backcourt mate, Steve Nash, who was acquired in a sign-and-trade transaction in July. Center Dwight Howard also made his Lakers debut after his ballyhooed offseason arrival from the Orlando Magic. The Mavericks weren't at full strength for the game. Forward Dirk Nowitzki isn't expected to return before late November or early December after undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery on Oct. 19.