(LOS ANGELES) — It was close but when it was all over, Mike D’Antoni had a victory in his head coaching debut for the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant scored a game high 25 points, including six of them in the final two minutes of the game, as the Lakers (6-5) fended off the Brooklyn Nets 95-90.
D’Antoni was hired over a week ago as the new coach, but he his return to the court was delayed as he’s been recovering from knee surgery.
“It was great to be out there,” D’Antoni said. “Great to be with the guys. That’s what you coach for. They’re a good group that want to win.”
Dwight Howard scored 23 points, grabbed 15 boards and blocked four shots in the victory.
“It felt so good,” Howard said excitedly after the game. “D’Antoni was great. He was all over the place tonight.”
The Lakers win snapped the Nets (6-3) five-game winning streak.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN