Sometimes players are able to block out all the distractions and noise and focus on making that one crucial shot. Sometimes they aren’t.
With less than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter and the score within five in Wednesday’s Rockets-Mavericks matchup, Houston center Dwight Howard was fouled on a putback attempt. As Howard collected the ball and began to walk to the line, however, the jeering and heckles that Howard attracts at every road stadium must have hit a nerve. Howard looked to a particular heckler in the crowd, palmed the ball and threw it at the fan in question.
It wasn’t a terribly hard toss by any means, but deliberately throwing the ball into the stands is an automatic technical foul in the NBA. The heckler seemed undeterred, though, almost swatting the ball all the way back to Howard.
Dallas eventually won the game 123-120, a margin so thin that Howard’s antics might deserve serious scrutiny if there was any chance he was going to hit his squandered free throws anyway.
Check out the heckler getting inside Howard’s head below.