Dwight Howard Ruled Out for Lakers vs. Thunder Because of Knee Injury

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 5, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) against the Golden State Warriors during a preseason NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will not play in Wednesday night's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder because of a sore right knee, coach Frank Vogel announced.

"Hopefully he'll play tomorrow [against the Houston Rockets]," Vogel added.

This has been a solid bounce-back season for Howard, who struggled to stay on the court last year with the Washington Wizards. He played in just nine games during the 2018-19 campaign because of a variety of injuries to his glutes, hamstring and back. 

The Lakers took a chance on Howard to give them depth at center when DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL during an offseason workout. The 34-year-old has been crucial in their defensive resurgence, averaging 7.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 19.1 minutes per game primarily off the bench. 

L.A. has plenty of big men to choose from with Howard unavailable. JaVale McGee is the starter at center, and Kyle Kuzma and Anthony Davis have the ability to play the position. 

Of note, Los Angeles clinched the No. 1 seed in the West on Monday, so it will look to take the cautious approach with injuries in preparation for the postseason.