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Kobe Bryant sitting out the rest of preseason

Kobe Bryant's preseason has come to an end, but he showed more than enough in his six-game return to feel optimistic about the season.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers will sit out Kobe Bryant in the final two games of preseason, electing to rest the veteran before the regular season tips-off on Oct. 28, head coach Byron Scott announced before their game against the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday. Bryant will also miss the final preseason game against the Sacramento Kings Friday.

He'll end his exhibition-return on a high-note, dropping 27 points in a losing effort against the Phoenix Suns. Kobe hit numerous difficult shots through the second half of the game, particularly when he checked back in during the fourth quarter.

Bryant ends his preseason return averaging 19 points, four assists and three rebounds in 26.7 minutes player per game, looking sharp through most of the six-game run. His shooting percentages suffered, shooting 39 percent overall and 33 percent from the field, but the Lakers' offense has struggled with numerous key players missing time due to injury.

Kobe looked good in stretches and showed he can still make his bread-and-butter high degree of difficulty shots. It makes sense to sit him out in the second half of a back-to-back and the last game of preseason to give him some extra time off the court, and it will also allow Jordan Clarkson minutes as he returns from a strained calf.