kobe bryant

Kobe Bryant didn’t play in the Lakers’ regular-season finale Thursday night, a meaningless 113-96 loss to the Sacramento Kings at Power Balance Pavilion. Pau Gasol also didn’t play. Neither did Andrew Bynum.

Metta World Peace wasn’t allowed to play because of a seven-game suspension.

Matt Barnes couldn’t play because of a sprained right ankle.

Bryant needed to score 38 points to win the NBA scoring title, but in the end, he decided it was smarter to rest for the start of the playoffs Sunday than to try to overtake Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City.

“He’s been in this league for a long time and he understands the importance of getting some rest and going into the playoffs the right way,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said of Bryant. “He was the one who said at first he wanted to sit.”

– Reported by Elliot Teaford of theĀ Los Angeles Daily News