Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol give a speech at team dinner

Dwight Howard only described a team dinner he hosted Friday evening as “good.” But it turns out both Howard and Pau Gasol talked expansively to their teammates about making a championship run despite Kobe Bryant’s season-ending torn Achilles’ tendon. That journey will begin today when the seventh-seeded Lakers play Game 1 of their first-round series in AT&T Center against the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs.

“We have a good opportunity with everything that’s happened this season,” Gasol said. “It’s been difficult, but we’ve been able to overcome pretty much everything. We have to go into the series with a certain level of confidence and determination in order to make things for us.”

Bryant used to speak at team dinners during past seasons. What was his message?

“Pretty much the same, but he doesn’t extend himself very much,” Gasol said of Bryant. “He’s more direct and to the point.”

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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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