Speaking to reporters a day after the 115-80 shellacking, Howard called out the Rockets' effort.
"I saw quit from everybody in the arena," he said. "We can't have that."
Although Lakers fans might remember him differently, Howard has been a big force for the Rockets this postseason.
Howard is averaging a league-best 14 rebounds per game in the postseason and is second in team scoring with 16.4 points per game. In the Game 3 loss, he had 14 points and 14 rebounds. He did even better in Game 2, tallying 19 points and 17 rebounds despite nursing a sprained left knee.
The question is whether the Rockets have the mental and physical fortitude to pull off what would be a stunning comeback against a very strong Warriors team. Down 3-0 in the series, it looks as if Houston simply could being playing for pride at this point. A sweep by the Warriors would be a big blow to the Rockets following their series comeback against the Clippers.
The Rockets and Warriors tip off Game 4 on Monday at 6 p.m. PDT.