Bryant, Lakers shoot down Rockets


Published — Tuesday 20 November 2012

Last update 19 November 2012 11:51 pm

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LOS ANGELES: Kobe Bryant had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his 18th career triple-double, and the revitalized Los Angeles Lakers ran past the Houston Rockets 119-108 Sunday night for their fourth victory in five games since firing coach Mike Brown.
Dwight Howard had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and Pau Gasol scored his 15,000th career point among his 17 as the Lakers returned to .500 by running away from their second straight opponent since coach Mike D’Antoni took over their practices.
D’Antoni watched his second straight game from the Lakers’ locker room while interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff ran the bench. D’Antoni decided earlier Sunday to delay his debut, giving him a few more days to recover from recent knee replacement surgery.
Chandler Parsons scored 24 and James Harden 20 for the Rockets, who have lost six of eight.
Bickerstaff improved to 4-1 while filling in for Brown and D’Antoni, who announced the longtime NBA coach and executive will remain on his staff.
Thunder 119 Warriors 109: In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant notched his first career triple-double with 25 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists to lead Oklahoma City past Golden State.
The three-time NBA scoring champion has endured some growing pains this season trying to improve his floor game, with a bump in his assist number coinciding with an increase in his turnovers, too. He came in averaging four turnovers per game, the fourth-worst in the league.
He turned it over just twice in this one.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 22 points and David Lee had 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Russell Westbrook had 30 points and Kevin Martin scored 23 for Oklahoma City.
Knicks 88 Pacers 76: In New York, Carmelo Anthony had 26 points and nine rebounds to help New York bounce back from its first loss of the season with a win over Indiana.
JR Smith added 13 points and Raymond Felton had 11 for the Knicks in their only home appearance over a span of seven games. After falling 105-95 at Memphis on Friday, the Knicks (7-1) go right back on the road to start another three-game trip Tuesday in New Orleans.
In a game that was ugly, neither team shot 40 percent, but the Knicks built a big early lead, went up by as much as 20 and were never challenged.
Paul George scored 20 points Indiana, which played without leading scorer Danny Granger.
Nets 99 Kings 90: In Sacramento, California, reserve forward Andray Blatche scored 22 points to lead Brooklyn over Sacramento for its fifth straight win.
The Nets (6-2) matched the team’s best start since the 2002-03 season when they went to the NBA finals, losing to San Antonio in six games.
Deron Williams had 14 points and 10 assists for the Nets, whose longest winning streak last season was three games. MarShon Brooks had nine of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, Brook Lopez had 13 points and four blocks, and CJ Watson had 13 points for Brooklyn.
Raptors 97 Magic 86: In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points and Amir Johnson had 14 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead Toronto over slumping Orlando.
Andrea Bargnani had 17 points, Linas Kleiza scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth and Jose Calderon had a season-high 18 assists for the Raptors, who had lost six of their previous seven home meetings with Orlando.
Glen Davis led the Magic with 16 points and 12 rebounds, E’Twuan Moore scored 16 points and Arron Afflalo had 15. Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and six rebounds, ending his streak of three straight double-doubles.
76ers 86 Cavaliers 79: In Philadelphia, Evan Turner had 19 points and nine assists to lead Philadelphia over reeling Cleveland.
Spencer Hawes and Jrue Holiday each added 14 points for the Sixers, who’ve won two straight and five of seven.
Alonzo Gee scored 17 and Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson had 14 apiece for Cleveland, which has lost six in a row. Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters combined for 14 points on 6-for-27 shooting. They came in averaging a combined 39.1 points, a league-best for a starting backcourt.
Pistons 103 Celtics 83: In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Greg Monroe had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Jason Maxiell added 15 points and Detroit beat Boston for its first home win of the season.
The Pistons (2-9) had blown double-digit leads in each of their first three home games, but the Celtics, playing their fourth game in five nights, hit only four 3-pointers and trailed by as many as 22 points.
Jared Sullinger had 16 points and Kevin Garnett 15 for Boston. Rajon Rondo finished with 10 assists to extend his double-digit streak to 34 games, the third longest in league history. Magic Johnson had a 46-game streak in 1983-84 and John Stockton had a 37-game run in 1989.
Blazers 102 Bulls 94: In Portland, Oregon, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum scored 21 points apiece as Portland beat Chicago for its first-three-game winning streak since opening last season 3-0.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 13 rebounds for Portland.
After trailing by as many as 15 in the third quarter, the Bulls tied it at 73 early in the fourth. But Portland pulled back in front 87-75 on Matthews’ pull-up jumper with 5:04 left.
Nate Robinson hit a 3 to narrow it to 98-94 with 13.9 seconds to go, but Batum and Aldridge each hit a pair of free throws to help the Blazers hang on.

Joakim Noah had 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for Chicago.

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