After much debate as to whether Dwight Howard would play on Sunday, he did make his Los Angeles Lakers debut last night. Howard was making his return from back surgery and has been limited to just practice with the Lakers. His back did not seem to hinder him at all during the game, but he showed some signs of rust.
Howard has not played an NBA game in months, but he still managed to score 19 points in last night's game. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times says Howard gave himself a "B" grade after the game.
Howard finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocked shots. It was quite the impressive debut, but he also had five turnovers. And the Lakers lost. Los Angeles fell to 0-6 in the preseason, their worst exhibition record ever. Fortunately, Lakers fans had Howard's debut to keep themselves entertained.
"I think there were a lot of bright spots even though we lost the game," Howard said. "We're going continue to get better. I'll say midseason, we'll have everything flowing just the right way."
Los Angeles has two more exhibition games, then they start the regular season on October 30th against the Dallas Mavericks. They are the only team in the NBA not to have won a game in the preseason this year. They will try to change that on Wednesday or Thursday when the play back-to-back preseason games.