The Lakers needed more than 33½ minutes from Dwight Howard in Game 2 of their series against the San Antonio Spurs.
Howard committed his fourth personal foul with 8:37 left in the third quarter. The Lakers, down 11, lost their All-Star center for the remainder of the period with foul trouble.
The Lakers have almost no margin for error. Without Howard dominating the game, their chances hover around slim and none.
Five minutes into the fourth, with the Spurs up by 14, Howard collected his fifth penalty. The Lakers needed him on the floor to mount the comeback that didn't happen.
Three of Howard's fouls were of the loose-ball variety; the remaining two were offensive — most were careless and unnecessary.
For the game, Howard had an efficient 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He blocked four shots and pulled down nine boards. The Lakers needed at least another 10 minutes of Howard putting up those numbers.