LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant is sitting out his fifth straight game to rest his bruised shin.
Lakers coach Mike Brown confirmed early Sunday that Bryant will miss just the 100th game of his 16-year NBA career when they host the Dallas Mavericks.
The NBA scoring leader hasn’t played since April 6 for the Lakers, who began the day leading the Clippers atop the Pacific Division by one game with six to play.
Los Angeles is 3-1 in Bryant’s absence, getting improved production from center Andrew Bynum.
Devin Ebanks has taken Bryant’s place in the starting lineup, but has contributed little.
Bryant is averaging 28.1 points per game in his quest for a third NBA scoring title, but Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has raised his average to 27.8 with six games left.