Dwight Howard has had an up and down first season with the Los Angeles Lakers thus far. His 16.5 points and 12.4 rebounds per game are his lowest in seven years, but a decrease was to be expected when he joined a squad this loaded with talent. Far more stunning than his minor statistical declines has been Howard’s general ineffectiveness throughout large chunks the season. Even when he hit big numbers, it seemed like they didn’t really reflect on the team’s wins and losses.
That all changed recently, though. Be it because he’s finally healthy, or maybe because he’s realizing that L.A. is where he wants to be, Howard has turned things around over the past week. In his last four games, the 27-year-old has put up at least 16 points and at least 13 rebounds each time. Unsurprisingly, the Lakers won all four games.
On Tuesday night, Howard returned to Orlando – the place where he spent his entire career prior to coming to L.A. this summer. Given how things ended between him and the Magic, the reception Howard got wasn’t particularly surprising.
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Unfortunately for Magic fans, while they got to boo as much as their little hearts desired, it did nothing to shake Howard’s rhythm. In what was perhaps his best performance all season, the league’s best center put up 39 points and 16 rebound en route to a dominating 106-97 Lakers victory that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate.