The NBA released the full season schedule on Wednesday.
All-Star guard Kobe Bryant played in six games during the 2013-14 season, sitting out all four battles against the Rockets. On opening night this season, he'll get a chance to challenge Howard, who played for the Lakers during the 2012-2013 season.
The Lakers will visit Pau Gasol and the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day. Gasol recently left the Lakers for Chicago, despite the Lakers' attempts to re-sign the veteran forward/center. The Bulls play the Lakers at Staples Center on Jan. 29.
Of the 14 opponents in the Western Conference, the Lakers will play 10 a total of four times each. They'll draw the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Rockets just three times apiece. The Lakers will also play the 15 Eastern Conference teams twice each.
The Lakers will be featured on national television (TNT, ABC, ESPN and NBATV) a total of 28 times. They'll play 16 sets of games on back-to-back nights.
Other schedule highlights include the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs visiting Staples Center on Nov. 15, LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) on Jan. 15 and Coach Derek Fisher (New York Knicks) on March 12.
The Lakers' longest trip is just five games in March, visiting the Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers and Thunder.
The team will also have an extended, nine-day layoff (Feb. 12-19) for All-Star weekend.
While all teams play the same number of games, the relatively light 16 back-to-backs, limited lengthy trips and fewer games against the Thunder, Spurs and Rockets make the Lakers' schedule somewhat favorable.