Netease Sports reported on September 25:
September 25, Beijing time,
Today, the Lakers have undergone a change, giving Howard his first chance to start this year's playoffs. Statistics show that in the 43 minutes Howard played in the first three games of the series, the Lakers can beat the Nuggets by as much as 20 points, far more efficient than McGee.
In the last game, the Lakers were crushed and played terribly. Davis, McGee and Howard had only 4 rebounds in total, obviously something went wrong. And today's Lakers changes, obviously also to solve these problems.
As a result, Howard did not disappoint the Lakers. He was on the same field with the thick eyebrows. He released his pressure on both ends of the offense and defense. The thick eyebrows maintained a 100% shooting rate in the first quarter, while Howard received rebounds one after another and grabbed six in the first quarter, including two offensive boards. And his only goal came from a supplement.
In the second half of the quarter, he was still eye-catching, completing a tip-up in 4 minutes, and succeeding in a second offense at 3 minutes and 11 seconds, becoming an unexpected flash point for the Nuggets.
In the second quarter, he returned at 5 minutes and 03 seconds, and the two subsequent shots were two offenses after grabbing the frontcourt. The supplement at 1 minute and 05 seconds also caused a foul. He scored 11 points and 10 rebounds on 5 of 6 shots in the first half. He had 6 offensive rebounds (matching a career high in the playoffs). Although Davis did not grab a rebound, the Lakers have regained dominance in the penalty area.
The Lakers still maintained the lead in the second half. Howard didn't get many touch chances in the third quarter, but his defensiveness still helped the Lakers limit the Nuggets' overall scoring efficiency and kept the team's advantage. He was in this quarter. Scored 1 point on free throws. It is worth mentioning that the Lakers led by 11 points when he left the field, but since then the Nuggets have reduced the point difference to single digits.
After three quarters, Howard became the most efficient person for the Lakers. In the fourth quarter, the Nuggets still followed closely. Zhan Mei played very hard, but Howard did not play for a long time. The score difference was always around two rounds. The Lakers team reporter also said that they did not understand why the coaching staff did not let him. However, the Lakers played defensively at critical moments, coupled with Zhan Mei's aggressiveness at the basket, they still won the victory without risk.