Dwight Howard missed the 76ers game Friday night against the Orlando Magic while serving a one-game suspension without pay for receiving his 16th technical foul this season.
During Miami’s 106-94 home win over the Sixers on Thursday, Howard and Heat forward Udonis Haslem each received a technical foul for a confrontation in the second quarter. Under NBA rules, a player or coach is automatically suspended without pay for one game once he receives his 16th technical foul during a regular season.
For every two additional technical fouls received during that regular season, the player or coach will be automatically suspended without pay for an additional game.
This is only the third game the 35-year-old Howard has missed this season. He missed a 123-117 home win over Brooklyn on April 14, and a 106-103 home victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on April 16 with left knee soreness.
Howard is averaging 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes.
Before Friday’s game, coach Doc Rivers said that he has talked in the past to Howard about how picking up too many technical fouls can really hurt the team.
“I think we had that talk, probably three months ago, but listen, it doesn’t stop,” Rivers said. “Some of them are unavoidable, I really didn’t think Dwight deserved the tech [Thursday] but it is like the kid that keeps being late for class and then finally he actually has a real reason but nobody believes it, so there is not a lot you could have done about it.”
Still Rivers said that the rules are the rules.
“They give you a number on purpose,” he said, “and so when you get to that number and you are putting whether you are going to play or not in someone else’s hands, it usually doesn’t go your way. I would say that is the case here.”
The Sixers (47-23) also host Orlando (21-49) Sunday, when the regular season ends. Going into Friday’s game, the Sixers needed one win to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Besides Howard, the other Sixer who was out was Matisse Thybulle, who missed his third straight game with left hand swelling.