Howard, Gasol out with injury

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THE Los Angeles Lakers will be without their top three big men indefinitely because of injuries.

Dwight Howard has a torn labrum in his right shoulder and Pau Gasol has a concussion after taking an elbow in the face late in Sunday night’s loss to Denver. Jordan Hill, a key backup to both starting big men, has a right hip injury.

Los Angeles has lost three straight and four of five since beating the Knicks on Christmas, falling to 11th place in the Western Conference with a 15-18 record.

”The NBA is unforgiving, and nobody is feeling sorry for us,” Los Angeles coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”There’s 29 other teams that are happy, and we’ve got to do the best we can do. It’s kind of weird coming to work thinking you have three centers, and all three of them are hurt on the same day.”

The Lakers’ biggest concern is Howard, who hurt his shoulder in last Friday’s loss to the Clippers and aggravated it in Sunday’s loss to the Nuggets while grabbing a career high-tying 26 rebounds. The six-time All-Star center said he won’t need surgery, but he’ll sit out for at least a week before his injury is re-evaluated. Noli Cruz

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