The Lakers lost their first game of this season under Mike Brown in large part because Dwight Howard couldn't make his free throws.
With Howard clanging away again, the final result was different Tuesday night in Mike D'Antoni's first game as Lakers coach.
Kobe Bryant sank six consecutive free throws in the final minute to keep the Lakers ahead of the Brooklyn Nets in a 95-90 victory. The Lakers inched their way to their first winning record in this whirlwind early season: They are now 6-5 as they move on to upcoming games in Sacramento, Memphis and Dallas.
D'Antoni wasn't thrilled but was satisfied, saying: "We weren't real sharp overall, but some good individual plays. Kobe was terrific, as usual."
Howard went 7 for 19 (36.8 percent) on free throws and found himself being strategically fouled by the Nets in the fourth quarter. He did have 23 points and 15 rebounds and plenty of help down the stretch from Bryant (25 points).
D'Antoni said he'd still be in bed for another month if he wasn't in this new job as Lakers coach, which gave him the pregame feeling of being "privileged." The ending - Brooklyn's Deron Williams missed a would-be tying 3-pointer before the buzzer - wasn't as neat as the vibrant start, which saw D'Antoni's debut as Lakers coach begin with a 10-0 Lakers lead.
Bryant's free throws seal victory in D'Antoni's debut
Orange County Register | Nov 21