Kobe Bryant

After just two practices and two games together, Kobe Bryant already can see Mike D’Antoni’s ideas and schemes improving the Los Angeles Lakers.

Although a triple-double isn’t usually part of Bryant’s game plan, he happily picked it up along with another win for a team that has been revitalized before their new coach has even taken the court.

Bryant had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his 18th career triple-double, and the Lakers ran past the Houston Rockets 119-108 Sunday night for their fourth victory in five games since firing coach Mike Brown.

Dwight Howard had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and Pau Gasol scored his 15,000th career point among his 17 as the Lakers returned to .500 by running away from their second straight opponent since D’Antoni took over their practices. Although D’Antoni and his surgically replaced knee haven’t even appeared on Los Angeles’ bench yet, his new team is already playing with passion and fluidity it hadn’t showed during a miserable start to the season…

Chandler Parsons scored 24 points and James Harden had 20 for the Rockets, who have lost six of eight. Coach Kevin McHale missed his fourth straight game during a leave of absence to deal with a family matter.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press