Howard expects to play in All-Star game

Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni backs Dwight Howard's decision to play in All-Star game.

Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant were elected starters for Sunday night's NBA All-Star game in Houston.

Despite playing through a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Howard said Monday that he expects to play.

"If I re-aggravate my shoulder in these next two games, I'll probably just play a couple of minutes and sit the rest out," Howard said.

Coach Mike D'Antoni gave his endorsement to Howard on Tuesday.

"I don't think it matters, but it's his call and whatever he feels," said D'Antoni. "I think it's a great experience for guys. I wouldn't recommend most guys sitting out. It's not that taxing. I don't think it's going to hurt him in any way, but whatever he feels like he needs to do."

Then again, D'Antoni wasn't with the Lakers last season when Bryant left the All-Star game with a concussion after Dwyane Wade broke his nose.

-Eric Pincus

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