(Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
The long awaited return of Kobe Bryant finally took place on Monday as the Los Angeles Lakers opened up their 8 game preseason schedule against the Denver Nuggets in San Diego, California. Kobe played 20 active minutes, scoring 13 points on 5 for 12 from the field and handing out 5 assists, helping the Lakers to a 98-95 win over the Nuggets.
Bryant looked spry and quick on the court, moving in either direction fluidly and not displaying any type of residual effect from the either the Achilles or knee injury that has kept him out of action.
Steve Nash who has been battling nerve irritation also looked good on Monday. Nash also played 20 minutes, was 4 for 8 from the field and finished with 11 points and 5 assists.
The Lakers were led in scoring by rookie Jordan Clarkson who was very aggressive in getting his shot on the night; Clarkson shot 3 for 13 from the field and finished with a team high 14 points.
The Lakers first round pick, Julius Randle, showed flashes of his unique skill set for a big man and what undoubtedly has the Lakers fan base excited. On a few occasions last night Randle showed his strong motor by going after the rebound and then bringing the ball up the court displaying his handles. On the night, Randle collected 8 rebounds and scored 10 points.
Ty Lawson led the Nuggets in scoring with 14 points and also had 6 assists on the night.
The Lakers next game is on Thursday, October 9, against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.