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Speaking to reporters after the game, Rivers said the call against Howard was “pure reputation” rather than anything egregious he did on the court.
“There is not another player on the floor, in my opinion, that would have gotten a tech for the same thing Dwight did. Not one player would have gotten that tech,” added Rivers.
Early in the second quarter, Howard was whistled for a loose ball-foul and was arguing the call with the official on the court. The eight-time All-Star received a technical foul to give the Bucks a free throw and possession.
Howard entered the game with 15 technical fouls this season, the most in the NBA. Assuming the league doesn’t rescind Saturday’s call, he will receive an automatic one-game suspension without pay for his 16th tech.
“You know, it might seem like I’m being selfish or not thinking about the team,” Howard told reporters last month about his technical-foul issues. “But my first thought, my second thought, my third thought is about this team. I want us to win. … I will be better.”
Philadelphia can’t afford to be without Howard. It had to play Saturday’s game against the Bucks without Joel Embiid because of a sore right shoulder. Ben Simmons also missed his fourth consecutive game because of a non-COVID-19 illness.
The 6’10”, 265-pound Howard’s size on the inside is crucial for the Sixers, especially in those games when Embiid is unavailable. The 35-year-old is averaging 6.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest this season.