Howard was 12-of-14 from the field.
Metta World Peace added 18 points with five rebounds and four assists for Los Angeles, which jumped off to a 34-13 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
Kobe Bryant provided 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists and Pau Gasol contributed 14 points for the Lakers, who sank 51.9 percent of their shots from the field to avoid their first 0-4 start since moving to Los Angeles in 1960.
Jonas Jerebko scored 18 points off the bench for the Pistons, who went 4-for-13 from 3-point range in dropping their third straight to start the season.
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