Lakers hire Mike D'Antoni as coach

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The Lakers signed former Knicks and Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni to replace Mike Brown, who was fired last Friday.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Lakers signed former Knicks and Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni to replace Mike Brown, who was fired last Friday.

The Los Angeles Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni late Sunday night, signing the former coach of the Suns and Knicks to replace Mike Brown.

The Lakers and D’Antoni’s agent, Warren LeGarie, confirmed the deal two days after the Lakers fired Brown five games into the season.

D’Antoni agreed to a three-year deal worth $12 million, with a team option for a fourth season.

D’Antoni got the high-profile job running the 16-time NBA champions only after the club’s top brass extensively discussed the job with former Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

The 11-time NBA champion coach met with Lakers owners Jerry and Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Saturday to weigh a return for a third stint on Los Angeles’ bench.

The Lakers instead went with D’Antoni, a respected offensive strategist who coached Lakers point guard Steve Nash in Phoenix during the best years of their respective careers. D’Antoni was less successful during four seasons in New York, but at least restored the once-moribund Knicks to competence before resigning last March.

“Dr. (Jerry) Buss, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak unanimously agreed that Mike was the best coach for this roster at this time,” Lakers spokesman John Black said.

HEAT 113, ROCKETS 110

In Houston, LeBron James scored a season-high 38 points, Chris Bosh had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Miami rallied to beat Houston.

Dwyane Wade scored 19 points for the Heat, who shot 47.6 percent from 3-point range (10 of 21) and 51 percent from the field overall.

CELTICS 101, BULLS 95

In Chicago, Rajon Rondo had 20 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists to lead Boston past Chicago.

Rondo took advantage of Bulls point guard Nate Robinson for three quarters, helping the Celtics build a 12-point lead on 56-percent shooting. He extended his streak of consecutive games with 10 or more assists to 31.

THUNDER 92, PISTONS 90

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 33 points and keyed a fourth-quarter comeback as Oklahoma City rallied to beat winless Detroit.

JAZZ 140, RAPTORS 133 (3OT)

In Toronto, Paul Millsap scored seven of his 34 points in the third overtime, Al Jefferson had 24 points and 17 rebounds, and Utah picked up its first road win of the season, beating Toronto.

BUCKS 105, 76ERS 96

In Philadelphia, Brandon Jennings scored 33 points and Monta Ellis had 18 to lead Milwaukee to a win over Philadelphia.

TIMBERWOLVES 90,
MAVERICKS 82

In Dallas, Nikola Pekovic scored 20 points before leaving with a sprained left ankle, and Minnesota beat Dallas.


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