The cheers were slight and there might have been a few quizzical looks in the stands, but at least Jodie Meeks wasn't booed when he was announced as the Lakers' starting guard.

The boos came when public announcer Lawrence Tanter said that neither Kobe Bryant nor Dwight Howard were playing Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Bryant sat out the Lakers' 93-75 loss to Portland after suffering a strained right shoulder in a dunk on teammate Antawn Jamison in Tuesday's practice.

Bryant called the injury "a little pinch" and said he would be healthy enough to play in Saturday's exhibition against Utah at Staples Center. He is listed as day to day.

He said his shoulder stiffened up late Tuesday and informed Coach Mike Brown his shoulder was bothering him shortly after arriving at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

"I told Mike I might not play, and he said 'All right. All right, I'm not risking anything.' So if anyone is getting booed, it should be him," Bryant said.

Meeks, who the Lakers signed as a free agent, said he looked forward to filling in for Bryant. He started 50 of 66 games last season for Philadelphia.

"I'm excited," said Meeks, who scored six points on 1-of-5 shooting and four free throws. "It's a chance to learn and compete for a championship."

It has been difficult for Meeks, a third-year player from Kentucky, to show off his skills in practice because he routinely has to guard Bryant.