User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Lakers win 114-102, cover against Suns

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Mike D'Antoni spoke to the Los Angeles Lakers before the game and then retired to the training room, getting treatment on his surgically replaced knee. After a few more words at halftime, D'Antoni went to the players' lounge to watch the second half.

Advertisement
Although it's not the easiest way to take charge of an NBA team, the Lakers are pretty sure their new coach was pleased by what he saw from a short distance.

Kobe Bryant had 31 points, Metta World Peace hit five 3-pointers while scoring 22 points, and the Lakers played D'Antoni's style of up-tempo basketball in a 114-102 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Dwight Howard had 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Lakers improved to 3-1 under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who filled in because D'Antoni wasn't quite ready for sideline duty while recovering from surgery earlier this month. The Lakers don't have D'Antoni's offense figured out after just one practice, but they played with an aggression and urgency they had lacked during their early season stumbles.

The result was more than Phoenix could handle.

``That really is his offense, for us to kind of read each other and react to each other, kind of go out there and play on the fly,'' Bryant said. ``He has certain things that he wants to put in that gives us some framework to try to get some easy opportunities, but for the most part, he wants us to go out there and play.''

Even though it happened against the defensively questionable Suns, the Lakers quickly lived up to D'Antoni's bold Thursday prediction about their offensive capabilities: ``If we're not scoring 110, 115 points, we need to talk.''

Los Angeles took charge of an entertaining game with a 17-2 run spanning the final two quarters led by Bryant and Jordan Hill. The Lakers surpassed 100 points with 9:26 to play on a three-point play by Howard, who is widely expected to thrive in a pick-and-roll offense.

While World Peace relished his 3-point attempts, Pau Gasol scored 12 points on a series of spot-up jumpers in the first quarter before finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

``Not as many post-ups,'' Gasol said in describing the offense. ``More transition and quicker shots, I guess. Also against a team that plays that pace, it helps your offense, let's say. ... We played pretty simple basketball and just played off each other.''

D'Antoni is still on crutches after surgery earlier this month, but he's expected to debut on the Lakers' bench Sunday night against Houston. Bickerstaff pledged to run elements of the new coach's offensive sets against the Suns, who still follow many of D'Antoni's tenets under coach Alvin Gentry.

The night was a pleasure for Bickerstaff, who joined fired coach Mike Brown's staff in September and then agreed to preside over the transition period.

The veteran coach's .750 winning percentage with the Lakers ``will get me a Popsicle,'' Bickerstaff said.

``I (think) it would be a footnote, and it would be something that's in history that maybe my grandkids can talk about,'' added Bickerstaff, who hasn't said whether D'Antoni will keep him around. ``It's all fun, and that's what life is about. Don't take yourself too seriously, and enjoy the ride.''

Goran Dragic scored 22 points for the Suns, who have lost three of four.

Luis Scola scored 18 points, while Michael Beasley added 14 points and a career-high nine assists. The game is Phoenix's only road contest in a six-game stretch through Thanksgiving, but the Suns must rush home to face defending champion Miami on Saturday night.

``That team is in another area as to where we are and where we're trying to get to,'' Gentry said. ``They've got much bigger fish to fry, and we've got to get ourselves to the point where we become significant again. And the only way to do that is to be consistent.''

Steve Nash missed his seventh straight game for the Lakers with a small fracture in his left leg, keeping him out of his first potential matchup with the franchise with which he spent the past eight seasons, winning two NBA MVP awards and reaching two Western Conference finals with D'Antoni on the bench.

During the third quarter, the Lakers announced Nash will miss at least another week before getting re-examined next weekend. The Lakers are in the midst of a heavy slate of games, meaning the point guard is likely to miss 12 straight games before the Lakers' next projection on his return.

The results of D'Antoni's arrival seemed obvious from the opening quarter, when the Lakers scored 35 points and ran the court with an urgency they haven't consistently shown in years. Both teams traded significant runs in the second quarter, with the Lakers taking a 62-57 lead at halftime after closing with a 12-2 surge.

``We gave ourselves a chance, but we had a lot of unforced turnovers,'' said Jermaine O'Neal, who scored 12 points. ``They capitalized on the turnovers that we had in that one spurt in the third, and they scored in transition. That was the difference-maker.''

NOTES: The Suns have trailed by double digits in nine of their 10 games this season. ... Eddie Murphy, Andy Garcia, Los Angeles Kings forwards Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis, and ``2 Broke Girls'' stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs attended the game.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Nelson: Surprises and Disappointments
Lawrence: Zig-Zag Theory
News: Playoff Props posted
Grizz grab 7th seed, beat Dallas in OT
Nets rest starters, lose to Cavaliers
76ers top resting Heat, 100-87
Pacers cruise past Magic, 101-86
Hawks top Bucks, 'over' cashes
Bucks' Kohl reaches deal to sell team
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
7-1 L8 G-Plays, +3,907 This Year
12-3 L15 Picks, 33-11 Streak
3-1 L4, 8-2 Last 7 Days
19-9 L28, +1,870 G-Plays TY
18-9 Last 27 Selections
11-4 L15 Totals, +1,629 Picks TY
11-5 L16 Picks, +2,007 This Year
4-0 L4 G-Plays, +1,486 TY
7-3 L10 G-Plays, 10-3 L13 Totals
+1,473 Totals This Year
6-1 Last 7 Selections
5-0 L5 Picks, 9-1 L10 Win Streak
5-1 L6 G-Plays, 6-2 L8 Picks
5-2 L7 Picks, 12-4 L16 G-Plays
+1,446 This Season
4-0 L4 Totals, 9-4 L13 Picks
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks
2013 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 4002
Mike Rose + 2007
Paul Bovi + 1717
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 778
ASA + 476
Chip Chirimbes + 468
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 59 %
Chip Chirimbes 58 %
Paul Bovi 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 1870
The Prez + 1413
Paul Bovi + 1318
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Tony Stoffo + 1573
Stephen Nover + 1447
Kyle Hunter + 1045
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 1604
Bruce Marshall + 1498
Chip Chirimbes + 1108
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and recieve access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!