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Originally published December 8, 2013 at 9:32 PM | Page modified December 8, 2013 at 10:35 PM

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Kobe Bryant makes unspectacular return to Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant had nine points in his season debut for the Lakers, but Amir Johnson scored a career-high 32 points in the trade-depleted Toronto Raptors’ 106-94 victory in Los Angeles.


The Associated Press

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LOS ANGELES – Kobe Bryant had nine points and eight rebounds in his season debut for the Lakers, but Amir Johnson scored a career-high 32 points in the trade-depleted Toronto Raptors’ 106-94 victory over Los Angeles on Sunday night.

Bryant began his 18th NBA season by going 2 for 9 from the field, with four assists and eight turnovers in 28 minutes.

The fourth-leading scorer in league history hadn’t played since tearing his Achilles tendon in April, undergoing several months of rehabilitation to return for Los Angeles’ 20th game.

“My rhythm is completely out of sync,” he said. “But this is a start, and I guess a start is good.”

Toronto improbably snapped its five-game losing streak despite playing without forward Rudy Gay, who is expected to be traded to Sacramento on Monday as the centerpiece of a reported seven-player deal.

The Raptors (7-12) had 11 players available after holding out Gay, center Aaron Gray and forward Quincy Acy, all set to head to the Kings in exchange for Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes.

Nick Young scored 19 points for the Lakers (10-10).

Thunder romps

OKLAHOMA CITY – Ex-Sonic Kevin Durant had 36 points and 10 rebounds to lead Oklahoma City to a 118-94 victory over the league-leading Indiana Pacers.

The Thunder (15-4) shot a season-high 61 percent and improved to 10-0 at home.

Paul George scored 32 points for the Pacers (18-3).

Other games

Jordan Crawford scored 23 points as visiting Boston crushed the New York Knicks 114-73, the biggest margin of victory in the league this season.

LeBron James collected 24 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as visiting Miami beat Detroit 110-95, snapping the Pistons’ winning streak at four.

Dwight Howard had 20 points and 22 rebounds on his 28th birthday, leading host Houston to a 98-88 victory over Orlando.



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