Rockets center Howard suspended for striking ref’s arm

Agence France-Presse

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Rockets center Howard suspended for striking ref’s arm
The NBA suspended Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard for one game on Tuesday for striking the arm of a referee

NEW YORK, USA – The NBA suspended Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard for one game on Tuesday for striking the arm of a referee, and his coach J.B. Bickerstaff was fined $10,000 for criticizing officiating after the same game.

Howard was to miss Tuesday night’s home game against the Miami Heat over the incident in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ 123-122 loss to the Washington Wizards on Saturday.

He made contact and struck the arm of one of the officials.

Howard scored 20 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in the game but was ejected for the second straight contest after tangling with Wizards center Nene.

They shoved each other and Referee Mitchell Ervin stretched out an arm in warning. Howard, who leads the league with 12 technical fouls this season, pushed Ervin’s arm down and walked away, later apologizing for making contact with the official.

After the game, Bickerstaff blasted NBA officials, saying they routinely fail to call “dirty” play against Howard.

Bickerstaff said Rockets executives, including owner Leslie Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey had brought up the issue with the league office “tons”.

Bickerstaff also criticized the overall officiating of Saturday’s contest.

“We don’t like to blame referees,” Bickerstaff said. “Tonight, there were too many calls that were critical (that were) missed and they went the other way.” – Rappler.com

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