If Kobe Bryant is being slowed down by a bruised right shin, that figures to be good news for the Phoenix Suns.
The NBA's leading scorer has dominated the Suns this season and gets another look at them Saturday night in the opener of a three-game trip for his Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles (35-21) had its Pacific Division lead over the Clippers cut to 1 1/2 games after falling 112-107 at home to Houston on Friday. Bryant, playing with a shin injury that kept him out of the morning shootaround, made 8 of 20 shots for 28 points and had no assists for the first time all season after averaging 31.7 points on 61.9 percent shooting over his previous three contests.
Any sign of weakness for Bryant would be welcome by Phoenix (28-27). He's averaging 38.7 points on 53.8 percent shooting in three meetings with the Suns this season for his best such numbers against an opponent he has faced more than once.
The home team has won all three meetings between these clubs heading into the Lakers...