Ailing Bryant plays against Dallas

Updated: January 13, 2010, 11:14 PM ET
By Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant played on Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks after severe back spasms caused him to sit out the entire fourth quarter of the Lakers 105-85 loss in San Antonio on Tuesday.

But Bryant wasn't 100 percent. He left toward the end of the first quarter, laid on the floor at the end of the bench and elevated his legs. He didn't play for the rest of the half.

Bryant returned in the second half and finished with 10 points in 35 minutes as the Lakers beat the Mavs 100-95.

Bryant began receiving treatment on his back, including electronic stimulation, starting at 5 a.m. CT Wednesday morning.

"He's been [preparing] all day trying to get himself ready for this game," Jackson said before the contest.

Bryant, now in his 14th season, has not missed a game since the start of the 2007-08 season, playing in 202 straight contests.

Jackson downplayed the injuries suffered by starting forward Ron Artest (sprained right index finger) and reserve guard Sasha Vujacic (strained right hamstring) and said he anticipated both players would suit up and play.

Pau Gasol will miss his sixth straight game with a strained left hamstring but plans to participate in a full practice on Thursday with the hopes of being ready to return to the lineup Friday in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

Dave McMenamin

ESPNLosAngeles.com