• KOBE LOOKS RUSTY IN SEASON DEBUT

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    Kobe Bryant No.24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts as he grabs a rebound during the first half against the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO

    Kobe Bryant No.24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts as he grabs a rebound during the first half against the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO

    LOS ANGELES: Kobe Bryant’s made his much-anticipated season debut Sunday, finishing with nine points in his first game in eight months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon.

    Bryant also had eight rebounds and four assists as the Los Angeles Lakers lost 106-94 to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

    “It was weird. The last time I had eight months off I was still in the womb,” said Bryant, who shot two-of-nine from the field.

    Bryant played good defence at times but also tossed up some air balls and committed a game-high eight turnovers in front of a crowd of 18,997 at Staples Center arena.

    Bryant admitted he was rusty but said, “ It felt good to be back out there.”

    “This was a complete failure to me,” said Bryant, who played 28 minutes. “I don’t feel normal at all. I will go home tonight and watch the game again.”

    He says he’s worried about his game and that it is just going to take a few more days to get his timing back on the court.

    The Lakers wasted no time getting Bryant involved in the contest as he picked up his first assist on the Lakers’ opening possession.

    Bryant fired a pass from the left side to centre Robert Sacre under the basket, who split two defenders and went up for the easy basket.

    Despite his low scoring performance, Bryant still led the Lakers starters in scoring.

    “It is going to take awhile,” said Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni. “There is no way he was going to come out and be in mid-season form. It will be a little while before he gets his legs.”

    AFP

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