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Lakers brace for worst with Howard

Updated: July 5, 2013, 1:02 PM ET
By Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne | ESPN.com

The teams in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes spent Independence Day in fairly agonizing fashion, left with no alternative but to wait and hope that a decision from the NBA's most coveted free agent indeed comes Friday.

It was a particularly uncomfortable holiday for the Los Angeles Lakers, sources told ESPN.com, as fears mount within the organization that Howard's current employers could have fallen to as low as fourth in his pecking order.

Sources close ...

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