Dwight Howard is glad the NBA clarified that he should not have been ejected from Monday’s win over the Celtics for picking up a second technical foul. However, he wasn’t appeased by the announcement.
“I wasn’t satisfied about it,” Howard said Wednesday. “I was put out of the game. If things would have happened where they came back and we would have lost, that would have been a bad situation. The good thing about it is we got the win.”
Howard picked up a pair of third-quarter technical fouls in the 114-98 win over the Celtics. The first came when he shoved the Celtics’ Al Horford after a foul. The second came five minutes later when he hung on the rim after an offensive rebound and dunk. The NBA issued a clarification following the game that because the second technical was “non-unsportsmanlike” it was not cause for ejection.
“It was a tough situation, and I’m glad it got cleared up,” Howard said. “There is nothing we can do about it now. I’m glad we got the win. That’s the only thing that matters.”
The non-unsportsmanlike technical foul counts in the game but does not count against ejection or Howard’s season total. He is up to 10 after the latest that were issued. A player who reaches 16 technical fouls is a season receives a one-game suspension. He also faces a one-game suspension for every two technical fouls after the limit.
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said he has impressed upon Howard since the start of the season how important it is that he remain on the floor.
“Being on the court is important to us,” Budenholzer said. “We just have to continue to emphasize how important he is.”
Mike Dunleavy will miss his third consecutive game with right ankle soreness. He is out for Wednesday’s game against the Mavericks. He was inactive for Monday’s game against the Celtics and did not play in Saturday’s game against the Magic.
Budenholzer said he had no timetable for Dunleavy’s return.
“We are waiting for a little bit more information,” he said. “See how he feels today and how things go.”
More time for Prince
Rookie Taurean Prince has played extended minutes as the fourth wing in Dunleavy’s absence. He had a career-high 11 points Saturday and a career-high 30 minutes and 12 rebounds Monday.
Budenholzer said he wants to get Prince more playing time even when Dunleavy returns.
“I do think we are feeling like Taurean’s growth and progress is something that is helping us,” Budenholzer said. “It’s great to have them both. Each night might be a little bit different, but I think we’d like to continue to give Taurean opportunities and grow him.”
Splitter appreciated time with Hawks
Tiago Splitter’s injury-plagued two seasons with the Hawks ended when he was traded to the 76ers a day before the NBA trade deadline. The backup center played in only 36 games and missed all of this season dealing the hip and calf injuries.
“I enjoyed my time in Atlanta and with the Hawks organization,” Splitter said. “Thank you to the fans for supporting me over the last two seasons. I wish I was able to be a larger part of the on-court success.”
Splitter averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.1 minutes with the Hawks. His first season was cut short following right hip surgery. He was never able to fully recover to play this season.
Splitter also finalized his divorce from wife, Amaia, late last year. The couple had been married since 2010 and have two children together.