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Lakers video: Dwight Howard stays late and drains threes after loss to Raptors

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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t able to extend their win streak to eight games on Sunday night with the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors coming out on top against LeBron James and company. However, that didn’t stop veteran center Dwight Howard from continuing his postgame routine of practicing his free throws, post moves, and surprisingly enough, his three-point shooting.

Howard isn’t known for his shooting prowess, nor will he ever be, but he continues to try to perfect his craft to the best of his ability knowing full well that shooting from the free-throw line and other areas on the court is a glaring weakness of his.

During the loss to the Raptors, Howard finished with nine points and six rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. The Lakers coaching staff has become increasingly more comfortable giving Howard minutes as he has been very productive even in a limited role with the team thus far.

Although Howard’s impact from the charity stripe is still sorely lacking as he’s shooting 42.9 percent from the spot, he’s played well in many other areas this season. In 20.4 minutes per game, he’s averaging 7.4 rebounds, 6.4 points, and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting an impressive 78.8 percent from the floor.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year may not have the same impact he once did as a perennial All-Star, but he’s getting the job done for the Lakers off the bench and is exceeding expectations in his second stint with the purple and gold. Whether he can continue producing at this rate while not becoming a distraction or reverting back to old habits remains to be seen. Right now, however, he’s doing what is being asked of him while winning over Lakers fans that once despised him for leaving in free agency.