Lakers center Dwight Howard will play for the first time in more than a week, returning Thursday to match up against the Boston Celtics.
Howard missed the last three games, and six overall, because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
He insisted it was a game-time decision until almost tipoff, going through range-of-motion exercises with a Lakers physical therapist before hitting the court for pregame shooting.
The Lakers would have been very short-handed down low if he weren't playing. Pau Gasol is out at least six to eight weeks because of a torn plantar fascia in his right foot and Jordan Hill is out for the season because of hip surgery.
The Lakers (23-26) are 3-1 on their seven-game Grammy trip.
The Celtics (25-23) are 5-0 since losing Rajon Rondo because of a season-ending knee injury.