The NBA released a statement late Monday night explaining that Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard should not have been ejected for hanging on the rim.

NBA Statement: Dwight Howard Should Not Have Been Tossed For Hanging On Rim

In the Hawks’ 114-98 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Monday, Howard was called for his second technical foul with about four minutes remaining in the third quarter after hanging on the rim on a dunk.


Howard’s first technical came after he pushed Al Horford as a response to the Celtics All-Star’s foul on him, and the TD Garden crowd began booing. The Hawks center also fouled Isaiah Thomas by grabbing him near his neck, shortly before receiving his first technical.

In its statement, the NBA said Howard’s second technical for hanging on the rim “should have been deemed non-unsportsmanlike and should not have resulted in his ejection.”


Howard recorded 17 points and 12 rebounds before being tossed.

“It was a good team win,” Howard said. “I apologized to the guys and told them I need to do a better job of keeping my composure and some other things and they understood.”

Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said seeing his team win a physical issue is a good sign.

”I thought that was the thing that maybe stood out. We had an edge, we had a competitive, just a level that you need to compete in this league,” he said. ”I think the group understands what that is.”

The Hawks snapped a three-game skid with the win, while the Celtics ended a seven-game home winning streak.

Boston struggled all night offensively, despite guard Avery Bradley returning to the starting lineup after missing 22 of the previous 23 games with a right Achilles tendon injury. Bradley scored six points in 15 minutes of play.

”I just feel like we played hard enough,” Bradley said. ”In the second half they played harder than us. They punked us.”

The Hakws next begin a six-game homestand Wednesday night against Dallas, while the Celtics will host the Eastern conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers that night. Boston lost the first two games at Cleveland this season.

BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 27: Dwight Howard #8 of the Atlanta Hawks is ejected from the game following his second technical foul against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter at TD Garden on February 27, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.

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