Lakers center Dwight Howard celebrates after hitting a three-point shot… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
The Lakers tied a team record by making 17 three-pointers in regulation Friday night in their 122-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets, but it took an unlikely basket to reach that mark.
With 9.8 seconds left on the clock, center Dwight Howard caught a pass in the corner from veteran reserve Chris Duhon, spotted up from three-point range and launched.
Howard led the Lakers with 28 points and 20 rebounds in what was one of their most decisive wins of the season.
"I'm not going to become a three-point specialist," said Howard. "I'm going to continue to play under the basket, but if I get a chance to shoot it in the corner, I'm going to shoot it again."
It was only the second three-pointer of Howard's career.
"A couple of years ago," said Howard, trying to recall. "It was at the buzzer, at halftime."
He got the team right (Charlotte Bobcats), but it was actually almost six years ago in January 2007.
"At halftime I told guys I'm going to spot up in the corner and if I'm open, I'll take the three. I was open," Howard said. "That's my spot that I work on in practice. Thanks God I hit it."
The Lakers have certainly evolved since March when Andrew Bynum was benched by Coach Mike Brown for shooting a three-pointer against the Golden State Warriors.
"Dwight shoots more three-pointers than anyone on the team after practice," said forward Antawn Jamison. "He went out to the three-point line. I didn't expect him to catch the ball and shoot it, but he shot with confidence."
Over his career, Howard is now two of 34 from behind the arc (5.9%).
The Lakers will host Howard's former team, the Orlando Magic, on Sunday night at Staples Center.
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