Dwight Howard was ejected in the third quarter after being called for a Flagrant… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )
Dwight Howard was fined $35,000 by the NBA on Thursday but was not suspended, a lucky break for the Lakers in their semi-fractured season.
But in the "what else could go wrong?" department, Pau Gasol received a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, painful swelling on the underside of his right foot.
It's not the first injury Gasol has dealt with this season — he missed eight games because of tendinitis in his knees — but it wasn't expected to be as weighty. In fact, he was listed as probable for Friday's game against Portland.
Plantar fasciitis can be an unpredictable injury, and the only real cure is rest. Kobe Bryant had it in his left foot in 2004 but didn't sit out any games, though everybody knows of his legendary high pain threshold. Other players have sat out chunks of time and dealt with it for entire seasons.
For now, the Lakers plan on having Gasol against Portland. He had 19 points Wednesday against Denver, his second-highest scoring burst this season, and seemed comfortable in the post after Howard was ejected for a flagrant foul on Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried.
Howard dodged a one-game suspension but couldn't avoid being tapped in the wallet after smashing Faried on a drive to the basket with 5:02 left in the third quarter of the Lakers' 126-114 loss.
Faried stayed down on the court for about two minutes and Howard was hit with a flagrant foul 2. It was the first ejection of his NBA career, and he did not predict a suspension.
"I'm not rollin' with that," Howard said after the game, claiming it was a foul but not a flagrant one. "I've been getting fouled my whole career. I'm a strong guy. The guy that fell tonight was a strong guy also."
Jamaal Wilkes will have his jersey retired at halftime of Friday's game.
He will become the eighth Lakers player to have his jersey put up on the Staples Center wall, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Jerry West.
Wilkes, who wore No. 52, was a high-scoring forward with an unorthodox shot in which he briefly wrapped the ball behind his head.
He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September after 27 years of waiting.
Wilkes, 59, played 12 NBA seasons, eight with the Lakers after they signed him as a free agent in 1978 from Golden State. It cost them an undisclosed amount of cash and a 1978 first-round draft pick, but he was part of three championship runs for them.
His best season was 1980-81, when he averaged 22.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists.