Friday , Nov , 03 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Kobe set to return for Lakers tonight against Sonics

(Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers attempt to start a season with
three straight victories for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign when
they host the Seattle SuperSonics tonight at the Staples Center.

Tonight’s contest is the first of a home-and-home set between the clubs.
Seattle will host the Lakers Sunday at KeyArena.

All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who missed the first two games of the season while
recovering from offseason knee surgery, said on his Web site Friday he would
play tonight for the Lakers.

On Wednesday, Ronny Turiaf led all scorers with a career-high 23 points, 14
of which came in the third quarter, as the Lakers toppled the Golden State
Warriors 110-98 in Oakland.

Turiaf, who came off the bench to shoot 8-for-10 from the floor in just under
25 minutes, also posted a career-high nine rebounds.

Lamar Odom poured in 22 points and nine boards and Luke Walton contributed 15
points for the Lakers, who defeated the Phoenix Suns, 114-106, at the Staples
Center in Tuesday’s season-opener.

Seattle started its season with a loss on its home court. Zach Randolph scored
30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lift the Portland Trail Blazers to a
110-106 victory Wednesday at KeyArena.

Ray Allen scored 22 points for the Sonics but missed an open three-point shot
from the top of the key with five seconds left that would have given Seattle
the lead.

Rashard Lewis scored 25 points for the Sonics while point guard Luke Ridnour,
who received a contact extension from the club on Monday, netted 22 and dished
out a game-high 13 assists.

The SuperSonics were a brutal 13-28 on the road last season. After Sunday’s
game against the Lakers, Seattle hits the road for a five-game trip. The
Sonics will visit Miami, Orlando, Charlotte, Atlanta and New Jersey on the
upcoming swing.

The Lakers won two of three from Seattle last season, but the SuperSonics have
won three of their last four over the Lakers as the road team.