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 after the end of the first quarter for bumping the Lakers’ Montrezl Harrell as the teams were returning to their respective benches.
The contact was not an isolated incident. Howard had crowded Harrell on an inbounds play earlier in the quarter, which prompted Harrell to shove Howard twice. Then came the bump and two more shoves by Harrell.
Harrell was not ejected or even given a technical for his shoves.
Sixers coach Doc Rivers was not pleased with losing his center for something he considered silly.
“Clowns,” he said during a between-quarters interview with TNT’s Reggie Miller. “Guys joking around. I mean, it’s ridiculous, on both parts. I didn’t like it, bottom line.”
Howard signed with the 76ers in the offseason after tweeting he was returning to the world champion Lakers. He and 76ers teammate Danny Green received their Lakers championship rings prior to the game.