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#pounditFriday, December 4, 2020

Dwight Howard was nearly ejected from Game 3 for remark toward official

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard has managed to play a key role for the Los Angeles Lakers during the Western Conference Finals, but his extracurricular antics nearly got him tossed from Game 3 on Tuesday night.

Howard has come off the bench throughout the series and tried to get under the skin of Denver Nuggets star big man Nikola Jokic. While it has seemingly worked at times, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that Howard nearly crossed the line in the Lakers’ Game 3 loss — at least in the eyes of an official.

Howard picked up a technical foul early in the second quarter for tossing the ball in the air in frustration over a foul call. Then, when Jerami Grant went to the free throw line, Haynes says Howard said something in the direction of the officiating crew that prompted official Marc Davis to shout, “Hey, cut that out now! Are you serious? I’ve heard that twice now. Twice. Cut it out now!”

It’s unclear what Howard said, but a second technical foul would have resulted in an ejection. Howard appeared to lose focus after that, as Rajon Rondo had to clap to get his attention to get in proper position on the second free throw. Haynes notes that Rondo has been in Howard’s ear about toning down some of his antics, which were on display when he was jawing with Jokic on Tuesday night.

Howard went out of his way to taunt the Nuggets after Anthony Davis hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer in Game 2. Between that and his dust-up with an official on Tuesday, Howard may have to tread lightly for the rest of the series.

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