Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was roundly booed on Monday in his return to the Staples Center to face to the Los Angeles Clippers. It happened in pregame introductions, it happened when he touched the ball. It was evident that the former Laker is a villain in L.A, even when in front of a Clippers crowd.
After the game, Howard wouldn't say whether or not he was surprised by the treatment, via ESPN L.A.'s Arash Markazi:
Dwight Howard: "I don’t care. They can boo me million times. I don't care."— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 5, 2013
Howard didn't want to revisit his decision to leave the Los Angeles Lakers when he talked to the media. He has addressed the move in detail before and repeated that he is happy in Houston.
While he entered Monday's game undefeated as a Rocket, Howard was unable to stop the Clippers' attack. They scored 78 points in the first half and dealt Houston a 137-118 loss, led by Chris Paul's 23 points and 17 assists. Howard picked up three fouls in the first quarter and finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and one block in 26 minutes.
The Rockets will face the Lakers for the first time on Saturday in Houston. Howard won't return to Staples to face his former team until after February's all-star break.