Howard, MWP Out at Brooklyn; Kobe In

It was a busy Tuesday morning in New York City, as the Lakers learned they’d be without not only Dwight Howard (right shoulder), but also Metta World Peace (suspension), though Kobe Bryant would play through a sprained elbow.

Howard told reporters that while the shoulder he initially injured on Jan. 4 against the Clippers and aggravated at Phoenix last Wednesday had improved slightly, it still hurts and is not something he wants to make worse, so he decided against playing at Brooklyn.

World Peace was suspended for one game without pay for an incident with Brandon Knight during Sunday’s victory at Detroit, leaving the Lakers even more short-handed up front.

Howard and MWP are two of the team’s three most physical players, though the Lakers will have the third in Bryant, who sprained his right elbow while dunking on Knight but will start against Brooklyn, one of the NBA’s more physical squads.

World Peace will be available for Thursday’s game at Boston, while Howard remains a question mark.