Kobe Bryant on return: ‘I felt good’
HONOLULU — Kobe Bryant scored five points in his first action since undergoing surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 90-71 loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday.
Bryant was 1 of 5 from the field, with his only made basket coming on a 3-pointer from the left corner. He made both of his free throw attempts.
Derrick Favors had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz in the preseason opener for both teams.
JAZZ: Favors scored 12 points in the first half. Gordon Hayward added 11 points and nine rebounds, Rudy Gobert had 10 points and eight boards, and Trey Burke added 10 points.
LAKERS: Guard Lou Williams, who won NBA Sixth Man of the Year honors with Toronto last season, scored 14 points off the bench. Nick Young was the only other Los Angeles player to score in double figures, finishing with 10 points.
BRYANT’S BACK: Bryant played the entire first quarter and sat the rest of the way despite numerous second-half chants of “Kobe! Kobe!” by the sellout crowd of 10,300 at the Stan Sheriff Center. His first shot, a jumper from the corner, hit the side of the backboard.
“I felt good. It felt good to get out there,” Bryant said. “(My legs) feel strong, I didn’t feel tired at all. It’s just about getting the timing down.”
ANOTHER RETURN: Lakers forward Julius Randle started and played 21 minutes, finishing with seven points and seven rebounds. Randle, the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, broke his right tibia in last year’s season opener and missed the rest of the season.
ROOKIE WATCH: D’Angelo Russell, the No. 2 overall pick, started at point guard and finished with five points, three rebounds, two assists, two turnovers and a steal in 21 minutes.
UP NEXT: The teams will rematch Tuesday night in Honolulu.
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