Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 4/18/13

The big news Wednesday night was that the Los Angeles Lakers earned the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 99-95 overtime win against the Houston Rockets. But a story that largely went under the radar was that Lakers center Dwight Howard became the youngest player in NBA history to notch 9,000 rebounds. The 27-year-old grabbed his 9,000th rebound in the first quarter, reaching the milestone 14 days faster than Wilt Chamberlain. Howard does have a bit of an advantage over the competition though, considering he jumped straight to the NBA from high school. Howard accomplished the feat at 27 years and 130 days old, while Chamberlain was 27 years and 144 days old. Bill Russell now sits in third place, he was 27 years and 357 days old when he reached 9,000 boards.   When only considering games played, Howard was the 13th fastest to the mark, as it took him 697 contests to reach it. Still, it’s an impressive feather in Howard’s cap. Despite struggling through his recovery from back surgery all season, the seven-time All-Star managed to lead the NBA in rebounds per game (12.4) and defensive rebounds per game (9.1). The 2012-13 season marked the fifth occasion he has topped the NBA in rebounds. Howard capped off the regular season by scoring 16 points and grabbing 18 rebounds against the Rockets. But most importantly for the Lakers, their prized center looked dominant defensively on Wednesday night. His rim protection on the defensive end almost single-handedly slowed down Houston’s high-powered offense. He finished the game with four blocks and three steals. With Kobe Bryant done for the year thanks to a ruptured Achilles tendon, Howard and fellow big man Pau Gasol must step up if the Lakers want to survive at all in the playoffs. Gasol was a difference-maker Wednesday night as well, as he busted out a perfectly-timed triple-double. He finished with 17 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists. Los Angeles must now rely heavily on its twin towers and how Steve Nash can find his way back onto the court if the team hopes to challenge the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Predators fans throw catfish on ice to celebrate Stanley Cup berth

WATCH: Draymond Green tries just a little to hard to sell foul

Eddie George fires up Predators fans before Game 4 vs Ducks

Viktor Arvidsson had bloody ‘R’ on forehead after hit

Danny Ainge’s son running for congressional seat in Utah

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall’s retweet saves fan from taking final exam

WATCH: Cubs pull off two miraculous defensive plays in a row

To raise money for charity, a wrestling fan has Cody Rhodes slam him on thumbtacks

Gregg Popovich on Steve Kerr’s health issues: ‘It’s just a crap situation’

CJ McCollum clearly interested in having Paul Millsap join Blazers

Injuries are depriving us from watching the Spurs thrive in the clutch

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker