Former Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard made his Los Angeles Lakers debut against the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Center on Tuesday night. The Mavs were playing without Dirk Nowitzki, yet still had enough firepower to defeat the new-look Lakers 99-91.
Howard played 38 minutes and was 8 of 12 from the field, but made just 3 of 14 free throws as part of a 19-point, 10-rebound effort. New teammates Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant finished with 23 and 22 points, respectively, with Gasol also pulling down 13 boards.
For Dallas, Darren Collison had 17 points and Brandan Wright scored 14. O.J. Mayo (12), Shawn Marion (11), Vince Carter (11), and Ronnie Beaubois (11) also reached double figures.
Despite outscoring the Mavs 29-25 in the first quarter, the Lakers were outscored 23-17 and 26-20 in the second and third periods. The teams scored 25 apiece in the final quarter.
After Howard fouled out with 2:02 left in the game and Los Angeles trailing 96-82, the hosts actually tallied nine of the final 12 points, but it wasn’t enough as Dallas ultimately left town with an eight-point victory.
Following the loss, Howard had this to say:
“It's not an excuse, but it will all come with time. We haven't had an opportunity to really play together as much as we want, but we're going to get it. … We're going to chip away, and we're going to get better.”
The Lakers are at Portland tonight while Dallas travels to Utah.
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