Dwight Howard’s return to Staples Center on Thursday night as a member of the 76ers was cut short by an ejection.
Howard was tossed around after the end of the first quarter for hitting the Lakers’ Montrezl Harrell as the teams returned to their respective benches.
The contact was not an isolated incident. Howard had crowded Harrell on an inbound game earlier in the quarter, prompting Harrell to push Howard twice. Then came the bump and two more punches from Harrell.
Harrell wasn’t kicked out or even given a technique for his thrusts.
Sixers coach Doc Rivers was not happy to lose his cross for something he considered ridiculous.
“Clowns,” he said in an interview with TNT’s Reggie Miller. “Guys are joking. I mean, it’s ridiculous, on both sides. I didn’t like it, after all.”
Howard signed with the 76ers during the offseason after tweeting, it was coming back to the Lakers’ world champion. He and his 76ers teammate Danny Green received their Lakers championship rings before the game.