Dwight Howard trying to expand his game

SAN FRANCISCO — Dwight Howard said he has jokingly lived by this mantra: “If you want a three, give to me.”

He playfully gushes about taking three-pointers both to teammates and reporters. Aside from his three attempts this season, Howard hardly remains serious about suddenly becoming a three-point specialist. Lakers fans remember all too well how Andrew Bynum’s lone attempt to do that last season sparked former Lakers coach Mike Brown to bench him.

But Howard said he remains serious on expanding his mid-range shooting. So much that he spent a good chunk of Monday morning shootaround at the Olympic Club shooting mid-range jumpers with Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person.

“I’m trying to do anything to help our team instead of just worrying about me getting down low in the paint and banging,” Howard said. “I’ll step out and hit a couple of jump shots. That leaves the defense where they have to be honest. I have to continue to work on it.”

It remains to be seen whether Howard will actually apply that when the Lakers (36-34) play tonight against the Golden State Warriors (40-31) at Oracle Arena.

According to the NBA’s Web site, Howard has made 4 of his 15 combined attempts from just inside the perimeter. Howard has also gone 10 of 36 in shots in areas along the free-throw line extended and areas outside of the paint. Howard’s offensive production has primarily centered on hook shots, dunks and tip-ins within the restricted circle where he has shot a combined 369 of 621 from the field (59.42 percent).

But Howard said he’s taken a more concerted effort in expanding his range during practice “for a while.”

“I haven’t taken as many in the game as I needed to,” Howard said. “It’s all about confidence. I can’t worry if I make it or miss it. I just have to shoot it the right way.”

And no, that won’t entail trying to become a three-point shooter.

“I’m not trying to be entertaining,” Howard said. “I’m just trying to win games.”


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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