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Lakers Announce Major Lineup Change Before Game 4

A closeup of Dwight Howard.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 26: Dwight Howard #21 of the Washington Wizards looks on from the bench during the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

It took a loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals for the Los Angeles Lakers to finally make a change to their starting lineup.

JaVale McGee has started the majority of the Lakers' games this season, joining Anthony Davis, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and LeBron James. But McGee has been wildly ineffective for Los Angeles in the Western Conference Finals, and head coach Frank Vogel has seen enough.

Dwight Howard has been inserted into the Lakers' starting lineup for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. He'll join AD and LeBron in Los Angeles' bruising front-court.

Howard has been a critical component of the Lakers' defensive game-plan against Nikola Jokic this series. As long as he can remain out of foul trouble, the Lakers have a good chance to take a 3-1 series lead tonight.

Dwight Howard has served as the Lakers' enforcer in the Western Conference Finals. But he's too often allowed the moment to get the best of him, picking up ticky-tack fouls along the way.

Howard provides great energy and superb athleticism at the forward position. But early foul trouble could spell trouble for a Lakers team trying to fend off the "comeback kids." Perhaps Howard will be the difference for Los Angeles Thursday night.

The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals tonight at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.