Triple Threat
Covering LA Sports' Big Three: Lakers, Dodgers and Kings

Lakers Look to Dwight Howard Against Blazers

The Los Angeles Lakers continue life without Dr. Buss with the Portland Trail Blazers stopping by Staples Center on Friday night.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dwight Howard talks about his slow recovery from back surgery after the Lakers' Feb. 20 win over the Boston Celtics at Staples Center. (Published Thursday, Feb 21, 2013)

    After paying respects to the late great Dr. Jerry Buss, it is time to return to the business of basketball, and the Los Angeles Lakers have got some work to do with the Portland Trail Blazers coming to pay a visit on Friday night at Staples Center.

    The Lakers have to be feeling strong about their chances of making the playoffs, given the team’s recent run of form. LA has won nine of its last 13 games entering Friday night. Also, their visiting opponents are on a bad streak of losses that stretches back six games.

    Dwight Howard on Dr. Jerry Buss & Lakers Impact

    [LA] Dwight Howard Reflects On Dr. Jerry Buss Impact On Lakers Brand
    Dwight Howard talks about his direct experience with Dr. Buss and the impact the owner had on the Lakers worldwide brand. (Published Thursday, Feb 21, 2013)

    Even with that terrible stretch of basketball, the Trail Blazers are only half a game behind the Lakers in the standings. 

    At this point, Triple Threat has lost count as to how many times the Lakers have had to restart their season during the 2012-13 campaign, but the All-Star break kicked off another chapter in the Lakers’ saga.

    Dr. Jerry Buss "Led Us Through the Dark Ages of Basketball"

    [LA] Dr. Jerry Buss "Led Us Through the Dark Ages of Basketball"
    Former Laker Jerry West lauds the late Dr. Jerry Buss vision to create a winning, entertaining basketball dynasty in Los Angeles. Buss was memorialized on Feb. 21 at the Nokia Theater. Raw Video. (Published Thursday, Feb 21, 2013)

    The title of this newest chapter is most certainly “Dwight Howard.”

    Whether the Lakers crash and burn or strut and succeed, Howard will be the central figure in the Lakers’ post-All-Star break sprint to the finish line. If the Lakers can gain a stable stride and shift into a higher gear at the right time, they still have the talent and experience to achieve the ultimate goal—winning a championship remains the ultimate hope of every Lakers fan, but making the playoffs is the immediate goal.

    Lakers Family Remembers Dr. Jerry Buss

    [LA] Lakers Family Remembers Dr. Jerry Buss
    Longtime Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss was honored Thursday at the Nokia Theater. Many members of the Lakers family from hall of famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to former player and general manager Jerry West spoke at the memorial. Fred Roggin reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Feb. 21, 2013. (Published Thursday, Feb 21, 2013)

    On Thursday, Howard was not dealt at the trade deadline, so the Lakers held true to their public promise about trusting the franchise on the back of the 27-year-old.

    Clearly energized from the All-Star break and inspired by the passing of Dr. Buss, Howard came out with added intensity, energy, and mobility against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. He played as impressive a game as he has ever played in purple of gold.

    Fans Say Farewell to Dr. Jerry Buss

    [LA] Fans Say Farewell to Dr. Jerry Buss
    The memorial for Dr. Jerry Buss held at the Nokia Theater was by invitation only, but that didn't stop fans from gathering at LA Live to honor the late Lakers owner. Many left messages and memories on giant banners posted outside the memorial. Kathy Vara reports from Nokia Plaza for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Feb. 21, 2013. (Published Thursday, Feb 21, 2013)

    Against Boston, Howard’s 12 points, six rebounds, and increased defensive energy helped the Lakers establish a nine-point lead in the opening period. The Lakers would go on to protect that lead for the remainder of the game and open the lead out to as many as 22 points. 

    Howard was especially effective on the offensive boards, as the Lakers’ latest big man pulled down seven of his twelve rebounds on the offensive end against the Celtics. Howard’s 24 points led the Lakers’ balanced offense against Boston, and seven Lakers scored in double figures.

    The Lakers last played Portland on Dec. 28 at Staples Center, and the LA blazed Portland on that occasion. Howard had 21 points and 14 rebounds that time, so the Lakers would happily accept more of the same on Friday night.

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