Bryant, the NBA's No. 3 career scorer, sat out for the first time this season to rest his tired legs. The decision was made by coach Byron Scott, who had been hinting at it for days.
"Looking at our schedule coming up, I just thought it was a good time to give him a day of rest and let him prepare for the next game," Scott said. "Kobe told me last night, anyway, 'Coach, whatever you want me to do. Just let me know.' So he's on board with it."
Bryant, 36, was averaging 35.5 minutes through the first 27 games and shooting just 37.2 percent.
"I think this is something that has to happen periodically," Scott said. "You've got to remember -- this is 19 years in this league. That's an unbelievable career. I don't care how much his mind is willing. You're not going to be able to play 82 games at the level that he is accustomed to playing. So sometimes, you have to give him days off as well as games off."
Bryant, who passed Michael Jordan on the career points list Dec. 14 at Minnesota, missed 76 games last season because of a torn Achilles and a fractured left knee. Scott said after Tuesday's win that Bryant will start Thursday in the Christmas Day game at Chicago.
Wayne Ellington made his first start for the Lakers in Bryant's place and scored 12 points in 25 minutes, one of seven Lakers in double figures.
"It was a good team win. We just had a lot of energy, and it was a lot of fun from the start," Nick Young said. "From the locker room to the court, we felt good. Some guys just played free tonight and did their thing. They had no handcuffs on them."
Curry was 10-for-14 from the field after averaging 30.3 points and 12.3 assists in his previous three games against the Lakers. Draymond Green made one of six shots in 24 minutes and finished with two points.
The Lakers made only one field goal over the final 5:56, a clutch 3-pointer by Jeremy Lin with 35 seconds to play. The Warriors cut it to 113-105 on Justin Holiday's 3-pointer with 29 seconds to go, before Ronnie Price helped put it away with a pair of free throws.
"They kicked our (butts). They were much better than we were," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We weren't ready to play. We started turning the ball over immediately. We never had any energy, which is going to happen occasionally in the NBA with 82 games."
"We just decided to take it upon ourselves and play for one another without our leader," center Jordan Hill said. "We knew it was going to be a tough fight, but we came out and played hard, played together, and moved the ball around."
Warriors: For the first time this season, the Warriors trailed by double digits after the opening quarter. They fell behind 34-24, giving up nine second-chance points and getting outrebounded 14-5. ... Paul Walther, a six-year NBA veteran who played for both the Lakers and Warriors during the 1950s, died Sunday at age 87 in Atlanta.
Lakers: Former Laker Vlade Divac sank a midcourt shot to win $90,000 for charity, with the proceeds going to the Divac Childrens' Foundation and the Lakers' Youth Foundation. Divac shot 23.5 percent (100-for-426) behind the 3-point line in his career. ... Tuesday marked exactly seven years since Bryant became the youngest player (29 years, 122 days) to reach the 20,000-point mark during a game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. ... Hill and Johnson are now the only Lakers who have started all 28 games.
Warriors: At Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
Lakers: At Chicago on Thursday.
ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
An elite NCAA wing defender imagines guarding Stephen Curry.
Henry Abbott talks to Ben Simmons about trusting the process, 76ers coach Brett Brown, and Australians in the NBA.
Did the NBA Draft's skinniest player steal somebody's lunch?