Before the Lakers' road trip, Dwight Howard noted that he's recovering well from off-season back surgery but stamina remains a concern.
"I've been playing a lot of minutes," said Howard.
It's not a matter of pain for Howard. It's muscle fatigue that Howard has to battle.
Playing on back-to-back nights or heavy minutes in general might have something to do with his diminished performance the last two games.
In 39 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, Howard scored only seven points and collected just four rebounds. In Sacramento on Wednesday (after hosting the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday), Howard had seven and nine in almost 41 minutes of play.
On Saturday he'll have to take on the Dallas Mavericks in what the Lakers' fourth game in five nights.
Over two games (before the loss to the Kings), Howard averaged 25.5 points and 15.5 rebounds.
There are other factors to blame but it's easy to forget that the Lakers didn't expect Howard back until December or January.