NBA suspends Rockets' Dwight Howard for Miami game
HOUSTON (AP) The NBA suspended Rockets center Dwight Howard for Tuesday night's game against Miami for touching an official during a loss over the weekend.
The league said the one-game suspension without pay was for ''striking the arm of a game official'' late in Saturday's 123-122 home loss to Washington. Houston coach J.B. Bickerstaff was also fined $10,000 for public criticism of the officiating after the game.
Howard was ejected after getting his second technical of the night with 8:08 left in the fourth after pushing Nene while the two tangled under the basket. Nene was also ejected for a double technical on the play.
Howard was whistled for his first technical after putting his hands on the back of Chris Dudley's neck following Dudley's flagrant foul in what appeared to be a joking manner. Howard had been ejected from Friday's game, too, and has 12 technical fouls this season.
''These referees need to be held accountable for letting people attack Dwight and be that physical with him,'' Bickerstaff said afterward. ''And dirty. It's not physical. If they let Dwight be physical and the game be clean, that's one thing. But, they're not clean with the way they play. We don't mind being physical. We're not afraid of that, but cheap is one thing. Playing to grab somebody's shoulders. Grab somebody's arms. That's not clean basketball.''