Bryant is dealing with a sprained ankle suffered on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks, and is sore enough to preclude even a cameo appearance like his 12-minute, one-quarter stint for the Lakers on Friday in a win over the Indiana Pacers. He did not score in that game, the first time since 2004 that he has been held scoreless in a game.
Kobe has started in all 67 games for the Lakers this season. This will be his first game missed since last season, when he missed eight games of the lockout-shortened NBA slate.
The Lakers have also been dealing with nagging injuries to both Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, and will be without Gasol as well against the Kings. And they could really use wins, sitting at 35-32 and just north of the cutoff for making the playoffs in the Western Conference.
But L.A. has beaten Sacramento twice already this season, both times by double-digits. Kobe or no Kobe, that's likely to be the outcome on this Sunday night, too.