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Struggles continue for Dwight Howard, bickering Lakers

02.12.13 at 12:55 pm ET

Dwight Howard‘s first season with the Lakers has been filled with controversy, injuries and disappointments. He has been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury and now is claiming that opponents have been targeting the injury.

Howard has been playing through a torn labrum, trying to help the Lakers fight their way back into the playoff picture. There have been a couple of games recently when Howard has said that players were grabbing at his right shoulder. After losing to the Heat on Sunday, Howard mentioned the targeting.

“They got me early,” Howard said. “They would yank it back.”

Howard also claimed that some of the Bobcats players were doing the same thing in Friday’s game.

“It’s like a jolt,” Howard said. “Then it hurts the rest of the night.”

In another on-court display of frustration, Howard was involved in a heated argument with fellow first-year Laker Steve Nash during Sunday’s game. During an offensive possession, Nash was in trouble along the baseline under the basket and Howard was holding his arms in the air, calling for the ball. Nash took a few extra seconds, was pressured by the Heat’s Udonis Haslem, and threw a difficult pass to Howard that the center was unable to handle.

The two bickered with each other at center court after LeBron James was fouled finishing off a layup at the other end.

The Lakers are 24-28 and are 3½ games behind the Rockets for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

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