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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Howard slam knocks loose clock

Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Superman did some major damage.

Orlando center Dwight Howard knocked down the 24-second shot clock above the basket with a ferocious dunk the first time he touched the ball in Wednesday night's Eastern Conference final against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After grabbing a rebound, Howard went up underneath and slammed the ball through with both hands and pulled on the rim for Orlando's first basket. The 24-second stanchion, a 5-foot-tall appendage that has cameras mounted to its top, then fell slowly backward.

A maintenance crew came out with ladders but couldn't fix the clock. The shot clock at the opposite end was turned off and two portable units were placed on both baselines. A tape measure was then brought out to check if Howard had pulled the rim lower than its required 10 feet.

Play was stopped for eight minutes.

The clock that Howard dropped was fixed at halftime and the teams began the second half with both units functioning.