x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

NBA: Lakers put on show for new coach D'Antoni with win over Houston

Mike D'Antoni watched from the locker room as his new side kept Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin quiet to run out 119-109 winners and continue their recent recovery.

LA Lakers' Dwight Howard hangs onto the basket after dunking against Houston Rockets.
LA Lakers' Dwight Howard hangs onto the basket after dunking against Houston Rockets.

Mike D'Antoni is yet to stand on the sidelines for the Los Angeles Lakers but his impact is clearly being felt already as they topped the Houston Rockets 119-108 for their fourth win in five games.

The recently-appointed coach watched once again from the locker room as he continues his recovery from knee replacement surgery, and he saw Kobe Bryant amass 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his 18th career triple-double.

Dwight Howard had 28 points and 13 rebounds, while Pau Gasol's 17 included his 15,000th career point.

Starting point guard Darius Morris scored a career-high 12 points while doing a decent defensive job on Jeremy Lin, who had 10 assists but just five points on 2-of-9 shooting.

"I'm anxious to get out there and ready to go, but I don't want to be a sideshow," D'Antoni said.

D'Antoni has been getting around without crutches for short distances since he arrived in Los Angeles last week, but the 61-year-old former Knicks and Suns coach isn't his usual spry self yet. He has attended two workouts with the Lakers, circling the court on crutches and sitting down whenever possible, but finally had to acknowledge he would have trouble on an NBA bench.

"My wife said, `Why are you doing this?"' D'Antoni said. "And I kept being headstrong. (Vitti) kind of sat me down and said, `Mike, this is crazy. Somebody comes over, you're going to be bowled over. You're a sitting duck.'

"And I know my coaches aren't real nimble, so there's no way they're protecting me. They're hitting the streets. It was the smart thing to do."

Kevin Durant collected was his career first triple double for Oklahoma City.

His 25 points, 13 rebounds and career-high 10 assists came in a 119-109 win for the Thunder over the Golden State Warriors.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 30 points while Kevin Martin had 23.

The young Portland Trail Blazers have found their rhythm as they topped the Chicago Bulls 102-94 for their third straight win.

Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum scored 21 points each.

The New York Knicks got over their first loss of the season by beating the Indiana Pacers 88-76 behind 26 points from Carmelo Anthony.

Andray Blatche came off the bench to score 22 points for the Brooklyn Nets in a 99-90 win over the Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn's fifth in a row.

In Auburn Hills, the Detroit Pistons finally registered their first home win of the season as they beat the Boston Celtics 103-83 behind 20 points and 13 rebounds from Greg Monroe.

DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points as the Toronto Raptors beat the Orlando Magic, while Evan Turner's 19 helped Philadelphia to an 86-79 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.


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