The Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Brooklyn Nets 95-90, to give Mike D’Antoni a victorious debut from the bench as the Lakers’ new head coach.
Although he has been with the team since last Thursday, Tuesday night’s game was the first he was able to coach from the bench, due to him recovering from knee replacement surgery he had two weeks prior to him taking over the reigns of the Lakeshow.
Ironically enough, the Lakers scored under 100 points in his first game on the sidelines, while they previously averaged 116.5 points per game with him coaching from the locker room. The good news is that they kept their opponent under 100 points as well.
Kobe Bryant poured in 25 points last night, none more crucial than the six points he scored in the final two minutes to seal the win for the Lakers. Dwight Howard had another dominant performance with 23 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. Pau Gasol had a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Metta World Peace scored 17 points to go along with 8 rebounds.
The Lakers are getting a lot of point production from their starters under D’Antoni’s system, but are getting minimal help from the bench, something that pundits felt would be the Achilles heel of this Laker team. With both Steve’s (Nash and Blake) MIA for at least another four games, it’s imperative that players like Antwan Jamison and Jodie Meeks step it up. Hopefully with D’Antoni back on the bench, the Laker reserves will get some added confidence and start producing, because it will be needed tonight when they hit the road to take on the Sacramento Kings (second game of a back to back).
Finally on the plus side of .500 (6-5) for the first time this season, D’Antoni and Lakeshow look to extend their three-game winning streak, as they take a “mini vaca” from the Staples Center with a three-game roadie starting tonight in Sacramento, as they look to get their first road victory of the season.
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Written by Arthur Kai