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Dwight Howard tosses ball at fan, receives technical foul

Pro BasketballDwight HowardLos Angeles LakersDallas MavericksOrlando MagicHouston RocketsMark Cuban

The Dwight Howard show in Houston hasn't gotten off to a spectacular start.

Sure, the former Lakers center says he's happy with the Rockets, but his numbers aren't much better than they were in Los Angeles. In addition, Houston's 8-5 start indicates the team still might be at least a couple roster moves away from being a true title contender.

And then you've got those fans who just can't seem to leave Howard alone no matter where he plays.

The Magic faithful like to pester Howard every time he plays in Orlando, and it's pretty much a given that a bunch of Lakers fans will be wearing "Coward" jerseys when the seven-time All-Star plays in Los Angeles against the Lakers on Feb. 19.

So Howard needs to turn Wednesday's experience with a courtside heckler into a lesson learned if he wants to be ready for Lakers fans.

Howard was assessed a technical foul against the Dallas Mavericks after tossing the ball at a fan who was loudly expressing his opinions (and no, it wasn't Mavericks owner Mark Cuban). Dallas went on to win the game, 123-120.

It was a fairly benign move, but Howard can't afford to have angry fans with 1980s hairstyles get the best of him.

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austin.knoblauch@latimes.com

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