On this trip, Bryant has somehow averaged 25.6 points on 48.2-percent shooting and 4.3 assists in 33 minutes in the three games the Lakers played on the second night of back-to-backs. “You would think that it would be the other way around,” Scott said. “I have no answer for why he’s able to do that.”Bryant had some answers. He reported he has improved his timing. He has stayed active on off days by running on the treadmill. Scott admitted Bryant played “in facilitating mode” though he attributed to Houston’s defense than Bryant showing better shot selection.“He’s taking some great shots. But he’s getting some more open shots as well,” Scott said. We’re also doing a better job of executing and setting screens when he has that opportunity. So, the volume hasn’t been as much. But obviously the consistency has been much better.” So even if Scott said the Lakers “have a lot of work to do “ following a 1-7 mark, Bryant’s progression exceeded his expectations. He had envisioned Bryant would need to sit in at least one of the Lakers’ sets of back-to-backs. But with Bryant announcing his retirement just before the Lakers’ trip, both Bryant and Scott aimed for him to appear in every game. “He will try everything in his power to play every game,” Scott said. “He also wants to play every game on the road, especially at arenas where he knows he’ll be there at the last time. That’s one of the challenges to this season.”The other challenges include the Lakers manufacturing wins and successfully navigating a heavy travel schedule. But those areas became more challenging than Bryant somehow turning back the clock on nights it’s least expected. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Most of the blame fell on the Lakers’ reserves, which allowed Houston to break the game open with a 29-4 run to open the fourth quarter.“The second unit was terrible,” Scott said. “They kind of came in and all the momentum just kind of shifted, didn’t come in with the same type of energy and the same type of purpose.”:It did not help Houston guard James Harden exerted his playmaking to post 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting, including 16 in the first quarter. Or that Rockets center Dwight Howard showcased his brute strength en route to 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting and 10 rebounds.But amid the Lakers nursing fatigue at the end of their eight-game trip, their 37-year-old star player somehow thrived through it. Kobe Bryant posted a near triple double, in points (25), rebounds (seven) and assists (six). He stuffed the boxscore by shooting 9 of 16 from the field and 4 of 9 from 3-point range despite not playing in the fourth quarter.“My legs are finally catching up,” Bryant said. “Better late than never.” HOUSTON >> The physical and mental strain took its toll on Lakers coach Byron Scott as he spent the past two weeks living out of a suitcase. The Lakers traveled to eight different cities over 13 days. They crossed back and forth between two different time zones. They needed their passport on part of the trip. The excursion represented 41 percent of their entire road schedule for the 2015-16 campaign. “I can’t wait to get back to my bed,” Scott said. “I’m feeling that right now.”Too bad Scott felt that before the Lakers’ 126-97 loss to the Houston Rockets on Saturday at Toyota Center. It appears his players felt it, too, as the Lakers (3-21) lost their sixth consecutive game and concluded with a 1-7 record on their eight-game trip.