After the Lakers lost to the Clippers, Dwight Howard was noticeably upset.
He looked down at the ground. He didn't smile. And his responses to reporters' questions were extremely terse.
"You seem upset," said a reporter.
Responded Howard: "Just getting ready for tomorrow; have a good practice; come back for the game."
A short while later Howard was prodded again.
"Are you upset, mad, disappointed — which one is it right now?"
Said Howard: "Can we ask some more questions?"
Howard was not much in the mood to talk about anything after the Lakers fell to the Clippers, 109-95, on Sunday afternoon, getting swept by their Staples Center neighbor for the first time since Donald Sterling bought them in 1981.
When asked to rate the Lakers' intensity in the game, Howard balked.
"I don't know," he said. "I don't have a rate meter. I don't know. Sorry."
He didn't want to talk about how he had only four rebounds as his team was dominated on the boards, 50-36.
"Just one game," he said. "We'll go to the next one."
He didn't even want to talk about his 25-point performance on eight-for-14 shooting or the fact that he made an impressive nine of his 13 free throw attempts.
"We've just got to play the right way," he said.
How do you go about doing that?
"Experience," he said.
Not a good prognosis for a team that will play five games in nine days to try to secure a postseason berth.
With the loss, the Lakers fell to ninth place in the Western Conference, half a game behind Utah for the final playoff spot. It's obviously not the scenario that Howard envisioned when he became a Laker this past summer.
"We've just got to go win, win every game," he said.
If the Lakers do make the playoffs, at least there's something that Howard can look forward to.
"Playoffs is a new season," he said.