The Lakers believed Dwight Howard finally closed the chapter surrounding his soap opera with Orlando after delivering a dominating performance against his former team.

But the game also reopened a debate on the merits surrounding "Hack-a-Dwight," a strategy that involved intentionally fouling Howard and sending him to the free-throw line. Despite shooting at a 47.8 percent clip at the line this season, Howard surprisingly went 25 of 39 from the foul line and finished the fourth quarter making 10 of his final 12 foul shots.

"The other team's objective is to make us lose, and they're going try to find the best strategy," Howard said following the Lakers' 96-92 loss Wednesday to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. "It is boring. It's not a fun way to play. It's not fun for the fans to watch. But for the other team, they're trying to win. We can't get upset with that."

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni thought otherwise.

"We're in the entertainment business," he said. "That's not entertaining for anybody."

It certainly wasn't entertaining for D'Antoni when he coached the Phoenix Suns and saw Spurs coach Gregg Popovich adopt the strategy with success against Shaquille O'Neal in the 2008 NBA playoffs.

"Shaq would try to run through people," D'Antoni said, laughing. "That's kind of different. He punished the guy. I felt sorry for the guy who had to go give the foul because he'd try to hunt him down and kill him."