Kobe Bryant challenged Dwight Howard to return to the Los Angeles Lakers' lineup following their win over the Nets.

The Lakers lost Pau Gasol to injury in the game and Bryant thinks Howard can play through the injury.

"He's probably worried about the damage in his shoulder," Bryant said. "I don't think he's ever had to play through injuries in his career. I think it's a new experience for him."

Bryant has postponed surgeries until the offseason and played through pain several times throughout his career.

"When I was growing up, going through high school and middle school, unfortunately but fortunately I dealt with injuries," Bryant said. "Not injuries that were debilitating but injuries you have to play through where you have to manage the pain. When you go through those things you learn your body and what you can push through.

"But Dwight has never been hurt. The [back injury last season] was debilitating and he couldn't play. When you have an injury that hurts you but you can play through it that's something you have to balance out and manage and he's never really had to do that."