Found January 14, 2013 on Fox Sports West:
LOS ANGELES After Friday nights 116-101 loss to Oklahoma City, a frustrated Mike DAntoni threw down the gauntlet to his team. The season begins for us Sunday night, said the beleaguered head coach. Its time for us to plant our feet and make a stand. We cant wait any longer. And for one of the few times this season on Sunday, the Lakers responded to their head coach in a positive way. After missing three games, Dwight Howard returned powerfully from a shoulder injury to score 22 points and grab 14 rebounds as the Lakers (16-21) pummeled the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-93. The win ended a six-game losing streak and gave LA its first victory in 2013. It was great to have Dwight back out there, said Kobe Bryant, who led the Lakers with 23 points. He looked good. I was pleased with the way he was running and with his activity. He performed well. With Howard back, the Laker defense had one of its best games of the season, limiting the 9-30 Cavaliers to 41-percent shooting from the field and coming up with 11 steals, more than three above its average. Howards size and quickness add a different dimension to the defense and allows the other players to take chances, knowing hell be there to cover for them. My shoulder felt pretty good tonight, Howard said. With the little bit of shape Im in, I wanted to do what I could to stay aggressive. And as a team we played good on both ends of the floor. We had to start getting some wins, and hopefully we started it tonight. Howard said the turnaround on defense was a result of players making it a priority to play hard and communicate for the entire game, not just a few minutes. We talked. Everybody was in the right spots, Howard said. We forced them to take tough shots and as a team our defense was great. It was good to play like that. It was another solid game for swingman Earl Clark, slowly becoming the Lakers feel-good story of the year. The 25-year old from Louisville who appeared in just nine of the Lakers first 32 games this season played 36 minutes in place of Pau Gasol and came up just one rebound short of his third consecutive double-double. Clark scored 13 points, had pulled in nine rebounds and had a game-high three blocks. Much like Howard, Clarks length and quickness can help the defense when a teammate gambles and sees his man get past him. Clark or Howard should be waiting, and if the ball isnt being rejected, the shot most likely will be altered. On the defensive end we helped each other, said Clark, who will replace the injured Jordan Hill in the rotation. We got Dwight back, which always helps with the rebounding and (giving us) that presence down the middle. Because of my size and quickness, Im able to do a lot of things on defense, especially help out when its needed. Howard, who played with Clark in Orlando, gave the Earl of Laker his stamp of approval. I love Earl, Dwight said. Hes a great guy and he works really hard. I happy to see him do so well. It was a great effort for the entire team, not something that can be used as a description of many games this season. But Kobe pointed out that the effort has to be sustained and the Lakers cant go back to being the lackadaisical squad theyve been all year. It was nice to end the losing streak but its Cleveland, you know what I mean? Bryant said with a laugh. THREE THOUGHTS 1 Its absolutely laughable to me when I hear people say that Howard is soft. Everyone has bad games, and most players dont live up to fans and media expectations. But if someone truly believes that Howard isnt tough, well, theyre wrong. He had major spinal surgery last April, with his doctors telling him not to expect to be back playing until December late December at the earliest. By the time training camp opened he was doing basketball workouts and he made it onto the court for the opener on Oct. 30 against Dallas. The back is still not at full strength, yet he never uses it as an excuse for a subpar performance. Nine days ago he suffered a partially torn labrum in his shoulder, played a game, then was told by team medical personnel to shut it down for at least a week, probably longer. Within a few days he was back doing conditioning drills; Saturday saw him working on his defense at practice and Sunday night he was cleared to play. Soft? Just the opposite. Hes one of the toughest, most determined men Ive ever covered. 2 On the air Sunday with Fox Sports Radios Ben Maller and Tomm Looney, I was asked if I thought Jim Buss was getting a bad rap for his moves as VP of Basketball Operations. I said yes he is, and I truly believe it. Had things gone according to plan and injuries hadnt decimated the roster for a while, this would be a very good team on the way to possibly being a title contender. And the people would be talking about what a great summer it was for the Lakers front office. When Steve Nash fractured his leg, it changed the entire fabric of this Laker team. But now Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak need to step up again and make a move or two that will put this team back on track, with an eye on next season as well, when Kobe, Gasol and Nash will be a year older. And free agent Howard may decide to leave. 3 Something must be wrong. Its been a few days since Magic Johnson Twitter-smashed the Lakers.

Dwight Howard returns to Lakers' starting lineup

Dwight Howard is back in the Los Angeles Lakers' starting lineup after missing three games with a right shoulder injury. Howard started at center for the Lakers against Cleveland on Sunday night as Los Angeles attempted to end its six-game losing streak. Howard apparently tore the labrum in his shoulder earlier this month during a game against the Clippers, and he aggravated...

Howard to return from shoulder injury

Lakers center Dwight Howard has been cleared to play on Sunday night against the Cavaliers. Howard has been battling with a shoulder injury since Jan. 4, after colliding with Clippers forward Caron Butler. The Lakers big man tried to play through pain but aggravated it the following Sunday against the Denver Nuggets. The injury was reported as a torn labrum by the Lakers. Howard...

Caption the Photo: Kobe & Dwight Howard’s Different Reactions To Being Blown Out

On the bright side for Kobe at least he isn’t getting divorced anymore. Call me crazy, but I think Bean is taking the losses a little harder than Dwight Howard. Remember when Jim Buss said it is 95% that Dwight re-signs with Lakers? He might have been using Romney math with that one. H/T @GrindTymeV

Howard a game-time decision, Gasol still out

Lakers center Dwight Howard is a game-time decision Sunday against Cleveland after missing three games because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He has worked out with Lakers trainers the last few days and might return a bit earlier than expected. Howard was initially injured Jan. 4 against the Clippers and showed no ill effects in the Lakers' next game, tying his career...

Howard helps Lakers crush Cavaliers

Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds in his return from a three-game injury absence, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 113-93 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night. Kobe Bryant scored 23 points for the Lakers, who finally earned their first victory of 2013 while ending their longest skid since February 2007. Howard went...

Howard returns, helps Lakers end losing streak

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds in his return from a three-game injury absence, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 113-93 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night. Kobe Bryant scored 23 points for the Lakers, who finally earned their first victory of 2013 while ending their longest skid since February...

Dwight Howard returns after his shoulder injury and helps the Lakers break their losing streak

Stemming from an article by USA Today Sports, Dwight Howard made his comeback on Sunday evening against the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Howard missed three games due to a shoulder injury.  The Lakers, on the other hand, were stacking losses like no other. Dwight Howard’s return included an impressive 22 points and [...]

Cavaliers fall to Lakers on the road

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds in his return from a three-game injury absence, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 113-93 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night. Kobe Bryant scored 23 points for the Lakers, who finally earned their first victory of 2013 while ending their longest skid since February...

Bucks-Lakers Preview

Even before Dwight Howard returned from injury, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni was looking for a fresh start for his team. The Lakers may have gotten that with Howard's help, but a lackluster performance against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night could lead to some of the same feelings that were generated during a lengthy skid. After a sixth straight loss Friday...

The NBA: Can the Lakers Still Make the Playoffs?

The addition of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash has not translated into wins for the LA Lakers.   Can they still make a push to reach the playoffs at 15-21 and 5 games behind the 8th spot? After 36 games, the Los Angeles Lakers are 15-21 with a 6-game losing streak. They sit 11th in the Western Conference and are 5 games behind the 8th spot which the Portland Trailblazers currently...

Steve Nash calls Dwight Howard ‘the anchor’ of the Lakers

For the sake of not attempting to manufacture a controversy, we’ll lay out a comment from Kobe Bryant from October and a recent comment from Steve Nash and leave it at that. Back in October, just days after Dwight Howard was traded to the Lakers, Kobe Bryant emphatically stated that the Lakers are “still his team.” At the time, Howard and Nash predictably backed Kobe in his...

Lakers' Gasol out, Howard questionable for Sunday game

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol was scheduled to miss his fourth straight game on Sunday because of a concussion, but center Dwight Howard might play in Sunday night's game against Cleveland. It will be a game-time decision on whether Howard, who has a shoulder injury, will play against the Cavaliers, according to the Los Angeles Times. Howard will be re-evaluated just before tip-off.

Magic Johnson has given up on the Lakers

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant didn’t give up on their marriage, but Magic Johnson has divorced himself from this Los Angeles Lakers season. Facing their 6th-straight loss against the Thunder on Friday night, the former Lakers legend called it a season for the Lakers as they trailed by 16 at halftime. “It’s over for my Lakers. No playoffs, no nothing,” The Lakers ended up losing...

Metta World Peace Kisses Lucky Fan After Lucky Shot (VIDEO)

Has Metta World Peace finally found the true meaning of his name? After finally putting an end to a 6 game losing streak, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-93 last night. it appears Metta World has finally found some peace in his life.  The star of the night was Dwight Howard, who returned backed to the court with an impressive 22 points and 14...

Nowitzki: Not Already Being Close To Dwight Will Make Recruitment Tough

Dirk Nowitzki will likely not be a factor in Dwight Howard's decision beyond the consideration of on-floor fit.
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