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Howard starts for Lakers after missing three games


POSTED: Feb 7, 2013 8:57 PM ET

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— Dwight Howard has started for the Los Angeles Lakers after missing three games with a sore right shoulder.

Howard said before Thursday night's game against the Boston Celtics that it would be a game-time decision whether he would play. But the Lakers were without Pau Gasol, who returned to Los Angeles after an MRI in Boston on Wednesday revealed a torn plantar fascia in his right foot.

Howard, who has a torn labrum in his shoulder, missed Friday night's game at Minnesota, Sunday's at Detroit and Tuesday night's at Brooklyn. The Lakers (23-26) won all three without their center and are 6-1 in their last seven games.

He has played in 43 of the Lakers 49 games and is averaging 16.5 points and 11.9 rebounds.

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