Bryant had a chance to test his legs in the first quarter, stripping Jeremy Lamb for a steal at center court and streaking down toward an uncontested hoop, but he chose to go for a layup rather than a dunk.
How far down the court did he decide against dunking it?
"Oh, as soon as I stole it," Bryant said with a smirk. "I mean, for what? It's early in the game. I'm still not even loose. I'm not [dunking]. I'll just take the two points."
Bryant is taking the same cautious approach when it comes to ramping up his playing time as he tries to balance the urge to help his team with the patience needed to fully reintegrate his body into the throes of NBA basketball after nearly eight months on the sidelines.
"It's tough, but physically it's not ready for that yet, so even though it's tough, I can feel it's not ready," Bryant said. "But, we'll just have to hold the fort down in that time and try to stay within striking distance and go from there."