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Dwight Howard gets booed by Lakers fans, responds with efficient 20 points in Rockets win

Feb 20, 2014, 2:20 AM EDT

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

This game played out pretty much exactly as expected.

Dwight Howard made his return to Staples Center and was lustily booed by Lakers fans.

Then the game tipped off and the Rockets went out of their way to feed Howard in the post — he scored the Rockets first six points and had eight points, six rebounds and two blocked shots in the first quarter.

From there, as expected, the Rockets simply overwhelmed an over-manned Lakers squad. The Rockets went on a 9-0 run to end the first quarter, another 12-0 run late in the second, were up by 20 at the half and never looked back.

When it was all over Houston won 134-108, the Rockets eighth straight win. Just as expected. James Harden led the Rockets with 29 points, Howard added 20 points and 13 rebounds, and neither played in the fourth quarter.

“I think he came out and wanted to make a statement and stuff,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni s said after the game during a televised interview when asked about Howard. “He’s good and he’ll play well.”

On the court this game was never really in doubt. The Rockets were getting points any way they wanted — they scored 62 in the paint, they ran on the Lakers and won the fast break points total by 7, the Howard/Harden combo ran some nasty pick-and-rolls as they carved up the Lakers defense with little trouble. The Lakers wanted to make sure the Rockets got their quota of easy buckets this season and turned the ball over 20 times, too.

Wesley Johnson had 24 points for the Lakers, Kendall Marshall added 20 points and 16 assists.

The real drama was off the court. The Lakers’ fans who wanted a cathartic release could and did boo Howard. For most Lakers fans it’s not as if they are really happy with Howard, but they have moved on. By and large they are more focused on Steve Blake getting traded and if they can get Dante Exum in the draft. Howard is an afterthought.

Although one Lakers fan did pull the “psych” on a Howard high five as he exited the court.

Howard has moved on too — he’s happy as a Rocket and is on a team he thinks is building toward a contender. He’s playing his best basketball in years. He’s smiling and having fun and joking around — that’s the way he likes to play, but it drove Kobe Bryant crazy.

In the end Howard showed that the Lakers how well he and his teammates are playing. Now everyone can move on.

  1. spthegr8 - Feb 20, 2014 at 2:32 AM

    Still doesn’t change the fact that, they aren’t getting out of the second round of the playoffs & he is STILL a Mental Midget!! Just Sayin’!!!

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Not everyone can handle LA. Thousands of people move here every year with big dreams, but even more leave because they just can’t handle it.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        I think the traffic, smog, overpopulation, and earthquakes might be a factor, too.

      • musician0785 - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        overpopulation? hahaha I love it when people who live NOWHERE near the city like to try and comment on it…..

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Overpopulated? Miami has over 4,000 more people per square mile than LA does.

    • RavenzGunnerz - Feb 20, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Maybe the Rox should hire fans to boo Dwight in every away game… he was playing like his old self.

  2. unfly - Feb 20, 2014 at 2:49 AM

    I’m interested in seeing who Dwight points the finger at when the Rockets get knocked out of the playoffs.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Feb 20, 2014 at 2:54 AM

      Let’s see…2 hands/10 fingers (inc. thumbs), 15 players/team, coaching staff/management…

      He’s going to have to grow a couple of extra hands.

  3. antistratfordian - Feb 20, 2014 at 5:10 AM

    Those Lakers fans don’t realize it but they were actually booing Kobe.

    • musician0785 - Feb 20, 2014 at 8:13 AM

      Yea Lakers fans were booing the guy who.brought them 5 championships and not the guy who bolted for less money, I understand you don’t like the guy but this is ridiculous …..at least your arguments used to be based in some kind of fact…..guess not anymore

      • antistratfordian - Feb 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        Like you, they don’t realize that Kobe is the reason for their dislike of Howard – for Kobe was the reason last season went into the toilet, why Howard bailed, why the Lakers currently stink to high heaven.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      No, we were booing Howard. Like the article said, Howard likes to smile and joke around. That’s just not how it works here in LA. Kobe’s intensity and personality fits this city perfectly.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        Arrogant, big mouth, show-off definitely defines Los Angles!

      • antistratfordian - Feb 20, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Shaq and Magic liked to smile and joke around. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. Los Angeles is not an intense and angry city. Kobe’s personality fits Detroit better.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        Shaq and Magic also got serious when need be. Shaq, when serious, was unstoppable (33 PPG and 16 RPG in 2001 NBA Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers). Magic Johnson also played very serious when the stakes are high. Howard simply can’t be serious, even when needed to be. Los Angeles is a strong, competitive place, that does not accept losers and doesn’t find losing amusing. Howard can find enjoyment in losing- that is not acceptable.

      • antistratfordian - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:14 AM

        “Shaq and Magic also got serious when need be. Shaq, when serious, was unstoppable “

        Dwight also gets serious when he needs to be, but he’s not as good as Shaq or Magic – that’s not really a reason to hate a player. All of the players on the Lakers aren’t as good as Shaq or Magic.

    • musician0785 - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Kobe is the reason they stunk last year? 4th in the league in scoring, career highs in rebounds, assists, and shooting percentage was the reason the Lakers stunk last year, and not constant injuries, and D12 having his worst year as a pro? seriously do you think about this stuff before it you type it? And Howard bailed because the lakers didn’t hire Phil, during the season or after….THAT’S the reason, he specifically asked for phil and management declined not wanting to look like fools…..Jim Buss is the reason d12 left, as much as you’re butthurt that Kobe was mean to you he’s not the reason d12 left…..and the reason the lakers arent good right now is that 8 out of 14 guys currently have serious injuries, if you take half the team away off of any team and that team will lose, just not enough bodies…..but of course that doesnt make a good story for laker haters, they’d rather just say that the team sucks instead of looking at context…..

    • musician0785 - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      So I assume you believe that “Flips quote won’t stem the tide of idiotic Lakers fans(is there any other type?) from saying Love is coming to the lakers.” is a comment that has some kind of merit? HILARIOUS……I do not comment on every anti-laker post the same way, if I find em to be factually incorrect then I point out exactly that, and then I back that up with actual facts. And if I find the post to be nothing but Laker bashing, with the sole purpose of trying rile up Laker fans with nonsensical dribble (which is EXACTLY what you do on a regular basis) then i call it what it is….trolling…and I hate to break this to you, but you wait for Laker articles and then spew something negative about the organization and its star player and its fans,most of which you’ve never met, but somehow have the wherewithal to call all of them idiots even though you’re a fan of another team, that isn’t very good)….what would you call someone who does that?….a troll. Don’t be upset because I’m calling a spade. Lakers fans ran their mouths when they were a good team ya know, like 2 years ago, same as Heat fans are doing now…..I don’t see you trolling heat articles calling the Miami fan base idiots….I think this stems from the Lakers continually having their way with whatever team your fav player Garnett has been on (save for 1 year) and you becoming bitter about the ribbing you got from Laker fans about it…but something tells me that 2008 you were the same insufferable fan you claim ALL laker fans to be. You wanna pick on laker fans but when someone calls you or heaven forbid call you what you are, a self proclaimed troll…”Response like yours are what us “trolls” are searching for.:……then you wanna call people babies….how ironic….and now I think you don’t know the meaning of the word merit…….

      • antistratfordian - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:16 AM

        Next time keep it concise and I’ll read it.

  4. supremekingz - Feb 20, 2014 at 6:19 AM

    Some people just don’t get it. Howard earned the right to play wherever he wants, and that Lakers team is a disaster. Lebron doesn’t want the Lakers, Kevin Love doesn’t want the Lakers, Dwight doesn’t want the Lakers. Face it, the Lakers are done. Not even the best team in their own city. The days of monopolizing the best free agents/trades is over. All your best days are behind you Laker fans

    Be happy that Dwight didn’t go for 40 because he was unstoppable last night in only a few minutes

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      Lakers fans should be mad. Howard blew them off like they were…Orlando!

  5. flyrocket31 - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:41 AM

  6. billtetley53 - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Another Howard article, another round of whining and crying from the lakers fans.

    Its as sure as death and taxes…

    • musician0785 - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      Isnt the article about Howard AND Lakers fans?

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        It’s actually a game recap.

    • spthegr8 - Feb 20, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      @bill
      You sure are obsessed with us Laker fans. If you can’t stand us. GO AWAY!!!

  7. musician0785 - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Unstoppable? What game did u watch? First of all James Harden was the best player on the floor last nite, and in all seriousness, d12 was being guarded by Robert Sacre, he should’ve scored 40…

    • au1978 - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      Yeah, he should’ve b/c you booing Fakers fans definitely deserved more embarrassment.

      • musician0785 - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Why do people think that calling the lakers the fakers, is funny, or clever or original?

  8. asimonetti88 - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Mike D’Antoni’s press conferences are so painful. According to Mike D’Antoni, he’s never made a mistake in his entire life. He’s just had the terrible luck of having great players like Antonio McDyess, Nick Van Exel, Chauncey Billups, Joe Johnson, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. If it weren’t for those guys, he probably would have won a championship every year he’s coached.

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      Your comment is right on the money.

  9. au1978 - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    You Fakers fans are so pathetic it’s ridiculous. He did what was best for him just as your franchise is supposed to do what is best for the franchise. Unfortunately for you, your franchise didn’t do that, so your troubles this season fall squarely on your executives, not on Dwight.

  10. billtetley53 - Feb 20, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Doesnt accept losers? Don’t you live there?

  11. fmartinezslc - Feb 20, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    All you laker fans stop hating rockets will win title before lakers do

  12. billtetley53 - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Why do you continue to behave like a 2 year old crying for his bottle everytime someone says something anti laker?

    If it weren’t for your whining posts, you wouldn’t have a thing to say.

    • musician0785 - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      If it weren’t for you’re trolling posts you wouldn’t have anything to say, I find it ridiculous that fans of other teams can bash the lakers and their fans, but when laker fans defend themselves and respond you call it crying. You call them idiots, but when someone calls u a loser, you ask why they are name calling….truly pathetic…Funny how i never see post on Nets articles…..

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