Bryant leads the Lakers, Anthony downs Hornets

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Updated: November 21, 2012

On a quiet night on the NBA circuit there were some big statements. The Lakers gave new coach D’Antoni a warm welcome beating the Nets, Philadelphia came out on top against Toronto and Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks to 8-1 with a win over New Orleans.

D’Antoni finally made his debut on the sidelines as the Lakers head coach Tuesday, and was given the perfect welcome by  Kobe Bryant who netted 25 points in Los Angeles’ 95-90 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Dwight Howard tallied 23 points and 15 rebounds, but was just 7-of-19 from the foul line for the Lakers, who have won five of their last six games and went 4-1 under interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff. Los Angeles began the year 1-4, which resulted in the departure of Mike Brown. The Lakers then passed on the opportunity to bring back 10-time NBA champion Phil Jackson after they hired D’Antoni last Monday. D’Antoni was set to debut Sunday night, but decided hours before the game that he was not quite ready to return yet. He had been on crutches due to knee replacement surgery earlier this month. D’Antoni ran Los Angeles’ practice for the first time Thursday, but wasn’t on the bench for the Lakers’ 114-102 triumph against the Suns on Friday. Deron Williams registered 22 points and 10 assists for Brooklyn, which had its five-game winning streak snapped. Despite thee loss the Nets remain in second place in the Atlantic Division with the Lakers climbing to second in the Pacific.

The New York Knicks rebounded from their lone loss in emphatic fashion last night, Carmelo Anthony leading the way with 19 of his game-high 29 points in the first quarter and the Knicks opened a three-game road trip with a 102-80 rout of the New Orleans Hornets. Anthony’s first-quarter total elcipsed New Orleans’ 17-point opening stanza. Raymond Felton recorded 15 points and six assists, J.R. Smith netted 15 and Tyson Chandler pulled down 12 rebounds for New York, which righted itself with an 88-76 home win against the Indiana Pacers Sunday following its defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies two days prior.

Nick Young and Jason Richardson scored 23 and 21 points, respectively, as the Philadelphia 76ers used a late surge to take down the Toronto Raptors, 106-98. Jrue Holiday added 19 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds and three steals for the Sixers, who have won three in a row. Thaddeus Young ended with 18 points and seven boards. DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani had 24 and 22 points, respectively, for the Raptors, who fell to 1-5 on the road this season. Jose Calderon donated 13 points and 12 assists.

The action hots up tonight with no less than 14 matchups ahead of a night off on Thursday for Thanksgiving celebrations.

Toronto look to bounce back at Charlotte, Detroit are in Orlando both teams desperate for the win, Philadelphia look to make it 4 straight wins against Cleveland who have lost 6 straight, New Orleans hope to avoid a 5th straight loss at Indiana, San Antonio look to get back to winning ways against Boston while Washington go in search of their first win at Atlanta. Top of the Central, Milwaukee take on top of the South East Miami, and in another battle of divisional leaders, the Clippers look to make it 7 straight wins at Oklahoma. In other games, Chicago and Houston go in search of some consistency when they go head to head, Denver and Portland are on the road to Minnesota and Phoenix, New York will be hoping for another big game from Carmelo Anthony at Dallas, The Lakers look to make it 4 straight wins against struggling Sacramento and Brooklyn look to get back on a winning run at Golden State.