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Dwight Howard receives technical foul after tossing ball at heckler (video)

Sometimes, Dwight Howard can’t seem to get out of his own way. From the debacle that was his drawn-out divorce with the Orlando Magic to his inability to ingratiate himself into the roster during his brief stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, Howard seems incapable of avoiding missteps along the way.

The Houston Rockets center displayed some more of the same on Wednesday night in a Texas tilt at the American Airlines Center against the Dallas Mavericks by committing a completely lame-brained act that earned him a technical foul.

With nearly three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Rockets were holding a 116-111 lead over the Mavericks. Howard, who finished with a strong stat line (33 points, 11 rebounds), earned himself a trip to the free throw line with some tough play in the paint.

Howard gathered up the ball after the whistle and someone seated along the baseline must have got the best of him, as Howard casually tossed the ball in the direction of the heckler, who was pointing at Howard and saying something presumably not-too-friendly. The heckler then slapped the ball back at Howard.

Howard was almost instantly T’d up, something that had the potential to contribute in some small part to the Rockets coming up short in the game.

Dirk Nowitzki sunk the free throw for Howard’s technical, but then Howard, who notoriously struggles at the free throw line, then sunk both of his shots from the charity stripe on the original foul. So, in a way, Howard avoided sinking his team with his impulsive and ill-advised response. But in the end, the Rockets nevertheless came up short, losing to the Mavs by a score of 123-120.