Up-tempo Lakers race to 114-102 win over Phoenix

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By GREG BEACHAM, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant had 31 points, Metta World Peace hit five 3-pointers while scoring 22 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers played Mike D'Antoni's style of up-tempo basketball in a 114-102 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Dwight Howard had 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Lakers improved to 3-1 under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff with a performance that must have impressed D'Antoni, who watched from the locker room inside Staples Center.

Although D'Antoni wasn't quite ready for sideline duty while recovering from knee replacement surgery, the Lakers played with aggression and urgency after just one practice under their new coach on Thursday. The former Suns and Knicks coach replaced Mike Brown, who was fired one tumultuous week ago.

Goran Dragic scored 22 points for the Suns.

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