In Brief | Nation and World Jan. 14


Howard returns to Lakers’ starting lineup

LOS ANGELES — Dwight Howard is back in the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting lineup after missing three games with a right shoulder injury.

Howard started at center for the Lakers against Cleveland on Sunday night as Los Angeles ended its six-game losing streak.

Howard apparently tore the labrum in his shoulder earlier this month during a game against the Clippers, and he aggravated the injury last Sunday while grabbing a career high-tying 26 rebounds against Denver. He sat out for the past week to rest the injury.

Howard is averaging 17.3 points and 12.4 rebounds per game in his first season with the struggling Lakers, who were on their worst skid in six years.

Pau Gasol missed his fourth straight game for Los Angeles with a concussion.

NHL returns with most teams on ice

PLYMOUTH, Mich. — The NHL and its fans can finally shift their focus to the ice.

A four-month lockout ended last week. Signatures on Saturday salvaged a shortened season. The defending champion Los Angeles Kings and most teams in the league practiced Sunday for the first time.

They’re all preparing for a 48-game sprint of a season that starts in less than a week.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said it’s going to be a grind, adding that he’s happy to be back.

Los Angeles will unveil the franchise’s first championship banner Saturday before hosing the Chicago Blackhawks.

By wire sources