SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard did not play Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers, giving Kobe Bryant one less obstacle in his pursuit of Michael Jordan on the career scoring list.
Leonard, a member of the All-Defensive second team last season, missed his second straight game with a bruised right hand.
Bryant needed 30 points in the game to tie Jordan for third place with 32,292 points.
Bryant is second in the league at 25.5 points per game, but had a season-low nine points on 1-of-14 shooting in a 93-80 home loss to San Antonio on Nov. 14.
Leonard was a primary factor in Bryant’s struggles that evening. The 6-foot-7 small forward has become the Spurs’ primary defender, guarding the opposition’s high-scoring wings such as Bryant and LeBron James.