Kobe Bryant told the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year to go into the game with an assassin-like mentality and try to crush his former team, and the big man obliged as Howard dominated the game in vintage fashion with 39 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Bryant was quiet in his own regard with 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting from the field, but contributed elsewhere with eight assists and seven rebounds.
Tobias Harris was literally all over the court for Orlando (18-47), scoring 17 points while adding 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 21 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field but shot just 1-for-6 from the three-point line.
The Lakers (34-31) moved to three games above .500 for the first time this season. They overcame a poor shooting performance from the free-throw line by shooting 46.6 from the field and scoring via easy looks inside, totaling 34 points in the paint.
Orlando shot just 39.8 percent from the field and struggled to find enough rhythm to mount a comeback.
Howard tied his own NBA record for free throw attempts in a regular season game with 39 as the Magic employed the "Hack-a-Howard" strategy late in the fourth quarter, and he made them pay by making 23 of his final 30 attempts to finish at a 64-percent mark.