Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets
Tip-off: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 – 7:30 PM ET
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Playing for the Brooklyn Nets appeared to be Dwight Howard’s dream, however as YouWager bettors know that trade never took place.
The 27 year-old player might not get his opportunity to play there at all this season because of a right shoulder injury.
The Los Angeles Lakers are struggling as hard as they can to protect leads and tonight could be again be without Howard as they make their first trip to the Barclays Center to face the Nets.
During Howard’s ongoing trade saga while playing for the Orlando Magic, a Brooklyn destination seemed to be his number one choice. The Nets (28-19) made a major push to acquire Howard this past summer, but after those talks broke down Brooklyn acquired Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks while re-signing Brook Lopez and Deron Williams and Los Angeles (22-26) ended up trading for him.
The Atlanta native is putting up solid numbers — averaging 16.5 points and 11.9 rebounds — and has been selected to his seventh straight All-Star game, but he doesn’t seem as intimidating in the paint and he’s missed five games in the last month. Howard has sat out the last two because of shoulder pain.
His injury is not everything that worries the Lakers.
Los Angeles barely won Sunday even while leading by as much as 18. This comes after a 29-point lead got trimmed to four in a victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday and after they opened a seven-game trip by blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter advantage in a 92-86 defeat versus the Phoenix Suns. A day prior, they watched their 18-point fourth-quarter lead shrink to one before holding off the New Orleans Hornets for a 111-106 victory.
The Nets have been off since Friday’s 93-89 home victory over short-handed Chicago Bulls. Down by four entering the fourth quarter, P.J. Carlesimo turned to his bench and the reserves responded, scoring Brooklyn’s first 20 points of the final period.
The bench ended up scoring 35, and the Nets are 10-3 when the reserves reach that mark.
The reserves had 17 points in a 95-90 defeat at Staples Center on Nov. 20, extending the team’s slide in the series to nine since a 102-100 victory on Nov. 25, 2007.
Williams, who has combined for 20 points on 8 of 21 shooting (38.1 percent) in his last two NBA games, is averaging 22.0 points on 50.0 percent shooting in his last four when facing Los Angeles.