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SPORTS
July 5, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
Dwight Howard has yet to make his free-agent decision. One of the teams in the running is the Houston Rockets. Early Friday morning, Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted a video plea to Howard. Pulling out all the stops...my daughter&friends made this video to urge @DwightHoward to come to the Rockets http://t.co/ICRiits19h - Daryl Morey (@dmorey) July 5, 2013 The homemade video shows a number of kids says, "Dwight Howard, come to the Rockets. " Morey also brought in a Hollywood celebrity, Emmy winner Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" with a video trying to sway Howard.
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SPORTS
July 5, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
Multiple media outlets reported that Dwight Howard agreed to join the Houston Rockets, but in a curious twist, his agent denied a deal was done and the Lakers still had not been told of Howard's decision as of late Friday afternoon. USA Today Sports broke the intial story that Howard would sign a four-year, $88-million deal with the Rockets, leaving the Lakers after only one season. ESPN and Yahoo! Sports followed it up with confirmations. Howard was leaning strongly toward the Rockets earlier Friday but hesitated because of the "enormous financial implications" he would lose by going to Houston, even though the state of Texas offers more favorable tax scenarios.
SPORTS
July 5, 2013 | By Stephen Bailey
Anger. Betrayal. Confusion. That trio of emotions seemed to be shared by most Lakers fans in the Staples Center area Friday evening - because they didn't expect center Dwight Howard to jump ship for the Houston Rockets. "He's not going to get a better place to play," said Doug Bode, 50, of Las Vegas. "There's more opportunities here than I think anywhere else. PHOTO GALLERY: Dwight Howard and the Lakers "Long term I think it would've been great. I think he could've come in this year and made a big difference if he had his head together.
SPORTS
July 5, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan and T.J. Simers
Dwight Howard has agreed to terms with the Houston Rockets, joining an up-and-coming team with one of the NBA's most dynamic young players while becoming the biggest free-agent name to ever turn his back on the Lakers. He ditched the Lakers despite their very public campaign to retain him, including numerous billboards around Los Angeles with his image and the simple slogan “STAY.” But Howard left, eschewing pitches from Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and a team of Lakers executives in a lengthy meeting Tuesday in Beverly Hills.
SPORTS
July 2, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
What are the odds free agent Dwight Howard re-signs with the Lakers? According to gambling website Bovada , they're not great. The Houston Rockets have become the favorite with 7-5 odds.  The Lakers are second at 9-5. Free agency began on July 1. Howard recently met with the Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors and Rockets. On Tuesday he has meetings with both the Dallas Mavericks and Lakers. The Mavericks have 3-1 odds to sign the veteran center, according to Bovada.
SPORTS
April 26, 2013 | By Matt Wilhalme
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is out indefinitely and will undergo surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee, the team announced Friday. Westbrook suffered the injury during the Thunder's 105-102 victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of their playoff series matchup on Wednesday. “Our players' health is our first and foremost concern," Thunder General Manager Sam Presti said in a statement. "The Thunder's medical team and several specialists we consulted with determined that Russell undergo a procedure to address the issue.” Westbrook has not missed a single game since joining the NBA during the 2008-09 season, and for one more day at least has the league's longest active streak of consecutive games played at 394. “We have thoroughly discussed this with Russell,” Presti said.
SPORTS
April 20, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
The last time they tried this, it didn't go so well. The last time the Lakers attempted to win a playoff series without Kobe Bryant, they had home-court advantage, a future Hall of Famer, and absolutely no chance. The year was 1996, and after lurching through the regular season into a first-round, best-of-five series against the Houston Rockets, the unsteady Lakers collapsed into a dysfunctional heap. After they played one of their worst games of the season in losing the series opener at the Forum, Magic Johnson, in his brief foray between retirements, challenged coach Del Harris.
SPORTS
April 18, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
In the final minutes of the final night of the regular season, one of the NBA's freshest stars was met in front of the basket by one of the NBA's most frustrating stars. James Harden was on his way up. Dwight Howard was standing still. It was the perfect metaphor for two players whose careers had spent this winter careening in different directions. Harden had joined the Houston Rockets and brought instant energy and excitement. Howard had joined the Lakers and brought mostly torpor and tepid.
SPORTS
April 17, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
Kobe Bryant was right about his guarantee. The Lakers made the playoffs. He didn't need to be present to see it happen on the last day of the regular season. Then the Lakers one-upped him, turning their good start to Wednesday evening into a better one, the equivalent of improving their hand in Texas hold 'em. The Lakers beat the Houston Rockets in overtime, 99-95, earned a first-round playoff series against San Antonio and managed to avoid top-seeded Oklahoma City, a horrible matchup for almost every Western Conference team, especially them.
SPORTS
April 17, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
With the season on the line, the Lakers (44-37) should have the advantage over the Houston Rockets (45-36) at power forward with 7-foot Pau Gasol.  After a dismal shooting night (3 for 17) in a Lakers victory over the San Antonio Spurs, Gasol needs a comeback night offensively against the Rockets. The difficult part for the Lakers will be guarding Houston's outside shooters in a game that might be their last of the season if the lose. Power forward - probable starters: Pau Gasol vs. Greg Smith.
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