Tuesday December 23rd, 2014

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was hustling for a loose ball in Monday night’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers when he had a close encounter of the nice kind.

A fan reached out to try to catch the ball coming into the crowd around the time that Howard was making a leap for it.

Fan and player came together in the second row, with the fan giving Howard a nice little hug and pat on the back.

Howard -- almost always a happy player on the court, much to the chagrin of critics -- gave a hug back and was smiling broadly when he came out of the crowd.

D12 had his fifth straight double-double in the win.

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