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Metta World Peace to play, come off bench; Kobe’s minutes to be decreased

Apr 9, 2013, 2:35 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics Getty Images

Metta World Peace is a warrior. Or maybe not human. Because this is pretty insane.

As we told you Monday, twelve days after surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus World Peace will be back on the court for the Lakers Tuesday against New Orleans, Mike D’Antoni confirmed to reporters including Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

World Peace will not start, but he will come off the bench.

And that could help reduce Kobe Bryant’s minutes load D’Antoni said — Kobe has averaged more than 46 minutes a game in the Lakers last four games. And it shows. At the end of both the Memphis game (a Lakers win) and the Clippers (a Lakers loss) Kobe looked tired and wasn’t executing well at either end of the floor. He’s as well conditioned an athlete as there is in the NBA but even Kobe needs some rest, some time on the bench.

It matters a lot for a Lakers team that has no margin for error left — they likely need to go 4-1 or 5-0 their last five to make the playoffs, including winning both ends of a back-to-back Tuesday and Wednesday.

Steve Nash was again ruled out for the Lakers.

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