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                      === Bryant, Lakers down Rockets ===
 
 Los  Angeles,  CA (Sports Network) -  Mike D'Antoni's head coaching debut will
 have to wait again.
 
 Once again, though, his Lakers had no trouble putting the ball in the basket.
 
 Kobe  Bryant's  triple-double and  Dwight Howard's 28-point, 13-rebound effort
 lifted Los Angeles to a 119-108 victory over the Houston Rockets.
 
 D'Antoni was set to debut Sunday night, but decided hours before the game that
 he  was not quite  ready to return yet. He has been on crutches as he recovers
 from knee replacement surgery earlier this month.
 
 Bryant  tallied 22  points, 11 rebounds and  11 assists in the victory for Los
 Angeles, which recorded a season-high in points.
 
 "We're  just  playing free,  simple basketball  right now  and are making good
 decisions with the ball," Lakers forward Pau Gasol said.
 
 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.
 
 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 on Monday.
 
 The  Lakers have gone 4-1 under interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff although
 they've been without Steve Nash, who won a pair of NBA MVPs running D'Antoni's
 free-flowing  and up-tempo  style  with  the Suns,  as  he  missed his  eighth
 consecutive contest with a leg fracture.
 
 Chandler Parsons netted 24 points to lead the Rockets, who have dropped six of
 their last eight contests.
 
 Bryant  had 11 points in the opening frame, while Howard added 10 as the hosts
 took a 40-29 advantage into the second.
 
 Howard  finished the  opening half  with 18  points and  seven boards  for the
 Lakers, who led, 68-60, at the break.
 
 The Lakers held a 98-87 edge going into the final period and led by as many as
 19 in the fourth.
 
 "They're  a tough team and they hit some big shots, but I felt like right from
 the tip tonight we didn't have energy," Parsons said.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 The  Rockets have gone 2-3 since head coach Kevin McHale left the team to deal
 with a personal matter ... Houston fell to 1-6 when James Harden doesn't score
 30 points, he finished with 20.
 
 
 11/19 01:54:07 ET