Article

D´Antoni praises ´smart´ Lakers

6 February 2013 15:59

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni was happy with his side and said they 'played smart' in their win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Tuesday's 92-83 win was the third in a row for the Lakers, who are without Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace.

And big man Pau Gasol suffered a foot injury during the game as the Lakers' bad run of injuries continued.

But D'Antoni was pleased with the win – which saw Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash combine for 38 points – despite the missing personnel and hailed his team for being clever without so many of their important big men.

"They (Lakers) missed some shots. But we played hard and they were good," D'Antoni said.

"They were good with their double teams, they were good at not over-extending too much, Kobe was really good about when to raid and when not to raid. They played smart."

Bryant is battling an elbow problem of his own but led his team to the win, adding eight rebounds and four assists to his 21-point haul.

And he admits the squad will be stretched in the coming games.

"It feels good to be able to pull out a win like this but now reality kind of sets in," Bryant said.

"If Pau (Gasol) can't go and Dwight (Howard) can't go we have to figure some things out."

The next task for the Lakers – who have won 23 of their 49 NBA matches this season – sees them make the road trip to Boston to face the Celtics at TD Garden on Thursday.

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