Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 11/27/12
The continuing chronicle of Dwight Howard versus The Free Throw Line hit a new rut for the Lakers center on Tuesday when Howard, at the end of a Los Angeles Lakers morning shootaround, was defeated by Bailey, the Los Angeles Kings lion mascot, in a shooting contest. Repeatedly. Upon Baileys invitation, according to DaveMcMenamin of Sulia.com, Howard was challenged to a free throw shooting battle while the six-foot-tall lion visited the Lakers practice facility along with the MLS Cup in a promotional exchange. After Bailey won that contest, Howard nullified the victory by saying that it didnt happen on the regulation court at the Toyota Sports Center, the El Segundo training facility shared by the Lakers and Kings. Once on the main court, Bailey once again beat Howard from beyond the charity stripe and then defeated the NBA all-star in a shooting contest from outside the three-point line. But give Howard credit for keeping his sense of humor one month into a tumultuous start to his Lakers career. Los Angeles is 7-7 on the year, while Howards 11-for-19 free throw performance on the teams 1-2 roadtrip lifted his season average to 49.7. It doesnt matter. Its just a friendly game. I want him to feel good about himself, Howard said. Thats why I let him win. Kings are winners. See, we all are winners. He won. And were going to win tonight. Which means, that were all winners. Sometimes you got to lose to win. I would rather lose tonight than win now. It doesnt count. He then called Pau Gasol over to offer a defense on his behalf, according to Sulia.com. Free throws Yeah, he was just a little off. Hell get it together tonight, Gasol said. Because the Kings players have been locked out since Howards arrival in Los Angeles, he hasnt had the opportunity to catch the defending Stanley Cup champions in action. Yeah, I actually went on NHL 99 on Sega Genesis. Thats the last time I saw the Kings play. Thats the last time I saw Bailey, he said to reporters. As for Bailey, he made sure to articulate a difference he had with his portrayal in the original story. I agree with everything but the "man in a suit" I am a LION!!!! Bailey tweeted at McMenamin after the story broke. In his own questionable defense, Howard wasnt apparently trying to make his shots. Anything I can do to help the team. I was being a team player today, missing shots. Allowing him to get his shots off so he can feel good about himself, he said. Sometimes you have to lose to win. Hopefully the same is true of the Lakers season under new head coach Mike DAntoni. Los Angeles will look to climb above .500 when they host the Indiana Pacers to open a three-game homestand tonight at Staples Center.
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