Dwight Howard slated for MRI

LOS ANGELES -- As if things weren't already bad enough in Laker Land after the Los Angeles Lakers dropped their fourth game in five tries Sunday, a 112-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets, center Dwight Howard aggravated the sprained rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Howard will undergo an MRI on the injury Monday morning, according to the team.

Howard tied a career high with 26 rebounds and added 14 points and four blocks in 41 minutes of playing time despite the injury, but had his shoulder wrapped heavily in ice after the game.

"I would like to play, but I just want to make sure that my shoulder is good to go," Howard said after the game. "I don't want to injure myself to where I'm out for the season, so, I just got to go and see what happens at the MRI."

The Lakers have a back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday on the road against the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.

Howard originally hurt the shoulder in the second half of the Lakers' 107-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday after getting tangled up with Caron Butler.

"It wasn't as bad as last game, but like I said, I don't want to injure it to the point where I can't play," Howard said.

Howard wasn't the only Lakers big man dealing with an injury. Pau Gasol exited the game with 1:05 remaining in the fourth quarter after taking a JaVale McGee elbow to the nose. Gasol suffered a nose laceration but was told by team doctors it is not broken, and he is expected to be available against Houston.

"I got hit," Gasol said. "I didn't see the replay, but it was not intentional. So, that's a good thing."

Gasol bounced back from his poor performance against the Clippers, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 34 minutes before sustaining the injury.

"It's sore," Gasol said. "It's a little sore."