Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni delays bench debut

Associated Press Modified: November 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm •  Published: November 18, 2012
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D'Antoni then smiled broadly.

Bickerstaff hadn't formally been told he was sticking around when he spoke to reporters moments after D'Antoni. Bickerstaff joked that the Lakers should be told that they were playing for his job.

"I think he and Steve Nash are waiting to make their debuts together," said Bickerstaff, who learned at the morning shootaround that his interim career would extend at least one more game.

Nash missed his eighth consecutive game Sunday with a small fracture in his leg that will keep him out until at least next weekend.

Although D'Antoni will speak to the Lakers before the game and again at halftime, he planned to watch his second straight game from the Lakers' locker room while getting therapy on his knee. He'll be joined by "the Steves," — injured point guards Nash and Steve Blake.

"The hardest thing is to watch the game," D'Antoni said. "I'm trying to do my therapy and she's killing me, and then you're watching the game and you're suffering there. It's not easy, but we'll get through this."

The Lakers already have shown signs of D'Antoni's influence, playing two straight games at a speedy tempo they rarely used under Brown. Los Angeles scored more than 60 points in the first half Sunday night for the second straight game since D'Antoni's arrival, leading Houston 68-60 at halftime after making 67.4 percent of its shots.

Los Angeles hosts Brooklyn on Tuesday before heading out on a three-game trip beginning Wednesday night in Sacramento.