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Howard hurt again as Lakers routed in Memphis

Howard hurt again as Lakers routed in Memphis

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard again injured his right shoulder in the second quarter of their 106-93 loss at Memphis, the struggling club’s 10th loss in 12 games.

Hours after Howard vowed to “bring it” against the Grizzlies to show that the injury-hit Lakers could achieve the greatness once expected of them, the big man reaggravated a torn labrum in the shoulder 2:21 before half-time.

Howard played only 14 minutes, managing a mere two points and two rebounds, and with him gone, Memphis outrebounded the Lakers 52-34 and scored a season-high 60 points inside the paint.

The shoulder, which Howard injured January 4 when he tangled with Caron Butler of the Los Angeles Clippers, will be examined by doctors in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The Lakers fell to 17-25, their second-worst 42-game start to a season since moving from Minneapolis to California in 1960. The only worse start was a 14-28 effort in 1993-94 and that team failed to reach the playoffs.

It was the fourth loss in a row for the Lakers and their seventh consecutive road defeat, the team’s worst losing streak away from home in eight seasons.

Kobe Bryant, who led the Lakers with 29 points, was so angry at having a shot blocked in the fourth quarter that he swung his right fist in the air in frustration to draw a technical foul.

Memphis improved to 27-14, fourth in the Western Conference, with Darrell Arthur coming off the bench to lead the Grizzlies with 20 points. He also contributed nine rebounds and was pleased with his team’s effort.

“We came out and started playing slow. We needed to get aggressive with these guys,” Arthur said. “We just had to attack. The pace of our game was great. We just had to hang in there. We have to stay positive.

“We have a goal in mind. It’s to win the whole thing. We have to stay confident.”

Mike Conley added 19 points while Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen each scored 12 points for Memphis. Gay grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and Randolph pulled down 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies.

Lakers’ center Pau Gasol, a former Grizzlies center, faced his brother Marc of Memphis with the parents of the Spanish siblings watching in the stands.

Marc Gasol had eight points, seven rebounds and four assists while Pau had 13 points and eight rebounds off the Lakers bench.

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