On Wednesday night, Dwight Howard returns to the “City of Angels” as the Rockets visit the Lakers in an NBA schedule 2014 game that will be live streaming free on Watch-ESPN and televised on ESPN TV and ESPN-Deportes (En Español).
In a Feb. 19 interview with ESPN, Howard claims he has no regrets about his decision to leave L.A. for Houston, but wishes things were handled differently during in his brief stint with the Purple and Gold.
“There’s a couple things that could’ve been done, but that’s over with now,” said the 8-time NBA All-Star following Tuesday’s practice. “I’m in a better place, our team is doing great and the Lakers, they’ll come back. But hopefully this is the Rockets’ time.”
Tonight, the 3-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year returns to Staples Center for the first time since his bitter departure. Ready for the worst, Howard expects anything but a warm reception from the Laker faithful and is mentally prepared for whatever.
“I think there will be a lot of boos,” he said. “I can’t really focus too much on that. I know I’m going to hear it the whole game. All the noises, whatever you want to call it, ‘Coward’.
“There’s not anything I can do about it except to go out and play. This year I’ve been through it a lot in every city because there are Laker fans everywhere. Every city I get booed in. I think I’m a little bit prepared for it.”
Winners of seven straight games, the Houston Rockets come into this NBA schedule 2014 game with a record of 36-17 and trailing the Southwest Division leading (39-15) San Antonio Spurs by only two and a half games.
In contrast, the (18-35) Los Angeles Lakers will try and stop a 3-game skid this evening, as they tipoff the unofficial second half of the season. Ravaged by the proverbial injury bug, Mike D’Antoni’s Lakers find themselves in penultimate place in the Pacific Division.
If the NBA playoffs started tonight, Houston would go in as the third seed, while Los Angeles would be gearing up for the NBA Draft. Thus, it comes as no surprise that NBA oddsmakers list the Rockets as -8½ ATS favorites against the Lakers [+8½] in this one.
The OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 215 points, and alternate money lines have the visiting Rockets valued at -395, and the hosting Lakers as +325 (straight-up) underdogs.
Opening tipoff is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. EST (9:30 p.m. CST/7:10 p.m. PST) following the conclusion of the TV scheduled game between the Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves on big ESPN.
Courtesy of Watch-ESPN, NBA fans can watch a free live streaming feed of this Rockets-Lakers game on a desktop and (Internet) mobile devices. This program is limited to TV subscribers with access to Watch-ESPN, so visit ESPN3 for more information or click here to view the free live stream (online).