Posted January 07, 2013 on
AP on Fox
If this season hasn't already been trying enough, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered another big blow entering this week.
The slumping Lakers won't have frontcourt players Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill for a difficult two-game road trip that begins Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets, who will seek a season high-tying fifth straight win.
Los Angeles entered this season as one of the favorites for the franchise's third title in five seasons, but the Lakers (15-18) and their new players have never seemed to click. The team got to .500 after a five-game win streak last month but is 1-4 in its last five and is one shy of tying its season-high four-game skid from Dec. 7-13.
Los Angeles' chances of ending that losing streak don't appear promising with its recent injuries.
Howard, a six-time All-Star acquired from Orlando in the offseason, tore the labrum in his right shoulder Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers and re-aggravated it while matching a career high with 26 rebounds in a 112-105 loss to Denver on Sunday. He's expected to sit out a week before being re-evaluated.
Gasol, a four-time All-Star, suffered a concussion when he took an elbow in the face during Sunday's loss, and his backup, Hill, has an injured right hip. Both players are out indefinitely.
The Lakers will likely bring up 7-footer Robert Sacre, the last player taken in this year's draft, from the D-League to start at center. Metta World Peace, who is 6-7, might also be used at that spot.
With that patchwork frontcourt, Los Angeles will have to face the Rockets (20-14) and Southwest Division-leading San Antonio in back-to-back road games. It's unknown if the Lakers will have those players back for a four-game homestand that starts against Oklahoma City on Friday and ends against Miami on Jan. 17.
"The NBA is unforgiving, and nobody is feeling sorry for us," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "There's 29 other teams that are happy, and we've got to do the best we can do."
The Rockets will try to take advantage of the short-handed Lakers to match their five-game win streak from Dec. 17-26. Houston will also seek its seventh win in eight home games and its fourth in a row at the Toyota Center against Los Angeles.
"They're still a great team no matter what their record is," said James Harden, who is among the NBA leaders with 26.4 points per game. "It's going to be a tough matchup for us."
The Rockets, winners in three of four overall in the series, rallied from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a 107-105 home win over the Lakers on Dec. 4 despite Harden missing 16 of 19 shots.
Harden finished with 15 in that victory but has topped 20 in each of the 16 ensuing games and has 25 or more in 12 consecutive contests, one shy of tying Moses Malone's team record from Dec. 26-Feb. 23, 1982. He had 29 points in a 112-104 win over Cleveland on Saturday, including 16 in the final quarter and the game's final six points.
The Rockets, among the NBA's highest scoring teams with 106.2 points per game, have averaged 113.5 during their win streak.
Harden has topped 20 points only once in 23 career matchups with the Lakers, including two postseason series, and had 20 in a 119-108 road loss Nov. 18. Howard had 28 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles, and Kobe Bryant had 22 points and a season-high 11 assists.
Bryant has scored at least 27 points in 17 games since the beginning of December and had 39 in the loss in Houston.
Lakers point guard Steve Nash is five assists shy of becoming the fifth player with 10,000.
BEST OF MAXIM
SHOULDER THE BURDEN
The bad news continues to pile up for the Lakers, as now both Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol will miss time with injuries.
Dwight Howard underwent a MRI on Monday and the Lakers have announced that he is being shutdown.
Howard discussed the then upcoming procedure after Sunday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets.
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The Los Angeles Lakers are not doing well. They are continually losing as they attempt to find their ways, if possible. The future of being in the NBA Playoffs this coming Spring 2013 is not looking too bright at the moment. At first they blamed their coach and he got [...]
Torn labrum for Dwight Howard
The Los Angeles Lakers organization reported that center Dwight Howard has suffered a torn labrum and is out indefinitely.
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To add insult to injury, literally, Pau Gasol was diagnosed with a concussion after being hit in the face in the same game.
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Los Angeles Lakers star center Dwight Howard is having an MRI on his right shoulder Monday morning, ESPN Los Angeles reported. Howard aggravated a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder during Sunday's loss to the Denver Nuggets. Despite the injury, Howard played 41 minutes and had a career-best 26 rebounds and scored 14 points with four blocks. "I would like...
First Dwight Howard goes down and now Pau as well. Going to be tough road ahead for the Lakers.
Pau Gasol (concussion) will miss 2 games & see how he feels. Hill inconclusive, further tests on his hip coming. Howard out minimum 1 week.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 7, 2013
And the Los Angeles Lakers are even more behind the 8-ball. According to ESPN, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol will miss time with injuries. Howard has a torn labrum while Gasol is out with a concussion. “It shouldn’t keep me out for awhile, but to make sure that I’m cautious, to make sure that I’m [...]
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