Lakers 95 - Nets 90 (final)
It wasn't easy by the Lakers overcame 18 missed free throws to beat the Brooklyn Nets, 95-90.
In their first official game under Coach Mike D'Antoni, the Lakers managed to get stops on multiple sequences to turn a six-point deficit into a five-point victory.
Dwight Howard made 19 trips to the line, making just seven as the Nets began to foul him intentionally a la hack-a-Shaq. The Lakers shot just 51.4% from the stripe, helping keep Brooklyn in the game.
Metta World Peace hit a big three-pointer late when the Lakers were down, one of four three-pointers World Peace drained on the night. He finished with 17 points.
Both Brook Lopez and Deron Williams were problems for the Lakers (23 and 22 points, respectively) but LA's defense tightened when it needed to.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 25 points. Howard had 23 and Gasol 17.
The Lakers are now finally over .500 at 6-5 after a 1-4 start. The Nets drop to 6-3.
Lakers 76 - Nets 73 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers turned up their defensive intensity to close the third, muscling a three-point lead over the Nets. Through three quarters, the game had 10 lead changes and 13 ties.
The stars for each team dominated the scoring with 19 from Brook Lopez, 18 from Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, 16 from Pau Gasol and 15 from Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers shot 52.5% through three quarters while the Nets dipped to 43.5%.
Nets 57 - Lakers 56 (halftime)
In the second quarter, Deron Williams took over late to give the Nets a one-point halftime lead. Williams took it right at second-year guard Darius Morris ... multiple times.
Drawing three fouls on the young guard, Williams went into the half with 16 points and five assists. Morris was scoreless with two assists and the three fouls.
The Lakers were able to score at relative ease, hitting 56.1% from the field in the first half. Dwight Howard scored 15 on 6-8 shooting. Metta World Peace contributed 14, hitting 3-6 from behind the arc.
The Lakers weren't at their best on defense. Brook Lopez leads all scorers, with in 17 points on 8-12 shooting. Brooklyn hit 51.3% from the field as a team. They also got to the line 16 times to the Lakers' 11.
Kobe Bryant scored 11 points on 5-7 shooting.
Lakers 29 - Nets 23 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers opened quickly in Coach Mike D'Antoni's debut, scoring the game's first ten points against the Brooklyn Nets.
Naturally, Brooklyn, one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, was going to return fire. Eight quick points took away nearly all of the Lakers' early padding.
Kobe Bryant played through two early fouls to score 11 for the Lakers, who shot 59.1% from the field as a team.
Brook Lopez was the game's leading scorer with 12 points, half on dunks. The Nets shot 45% from the field.
Coach Mike D'Antoni will take over for interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff on Tuesday night as the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets.
Brooklyn has a potent lineup built around point guard Deron Williams. Center Brook Lopez was injured for most of last season, but is averaging 17.8 points a game while blocking 2.8 shots so far this season..
The Lakers will again be without point guard Steve Nash (leg), and his backup Steve Blake (abdominal strain) is questionable.
The Nets (6-2) may be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this year. If the Lakers can get a victory, this would arguably be their biggest win of the season, considering the competition thus far.
For a more in-depth look at Tuesday's battle, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Nets.
Mike D'Antoni to make Lakers coaching debut Tuesday night
Kobe Bryant takes over as the league's leading scorer
Dwight Howard currently fifth in rebounding
You can email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.