Bryant has 13 points, 5 assists in 21 minutes as Lakers beat Nuggets 98-95 in preseason opener

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SAN DIEGO — Kobe Bryant had 13 points and five assists while playing 21 minutes as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets 98-95 in a preseason game Monday night.

Bryant — back after missing 76 games last season, including the final 57 due to a fractured left knee — shot 5 for 12 from the field.

Steve Nash, another Lakers veteran rebounding from injuries, had 11 points and five assists in 20 minutes. Jordan Clarkson led Los Angeles with 14 points.

Ty Lawson scored 14 points to lead Denver.

Bryant missed two of his first three shots, including his first attempt, a 15-footer which just grazed the net. However, he moved easily and had little trouble creating separation from defenders on his shot.

The Nuggets led 54-51 at halftime.

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