By Ben Golliver
Good news: the back looks alright. Bad news: everything else.
Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard was called for a flagrant foul on Dallas Mavericks forward Elton Brand during the third quarter of Tuesday night's season opener at Staples Center. Howard used both of his arms to swing down on Brand's shoulders from behind on a transition lay-up attempt. A rim-running Brand collected a feed from forward Shawn Marion and went up for the flush, only to be smacked by Howard, who simply chased him down. The force of the blow from Howard carried Brand into the stanchion, but he was able to brace himself before he fell. Howard was assessed a flagrant foul one and was allowed to remain in the game.