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TORONTO -- Dwight Howard was ejected from the Los Angeles Lakers' loss against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday after picking up two technical fouls in the first half.
The first came with 4:43 remaining in the first quarter when Howard lobbied referee Ken Mauer for a foul when he missed a reverse layup after absorbing contact from Toronto's Aaron Gray.
Howard was assessed his second technical by referee Eli Roe when he and Toronto's Alan Anderson were issued technical fouls after a Metta World Peace free throw with 1:18 remaining in the second quarter that cut the Raptors' lead to 48-44.
Howard finished with five points on 1-for-3 shooting, two rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot in 17 minutes of playing time. The Lakers went on to lose 108-103 without him, dropping their record to 17-23.
"They didn't explain," Howard said when asked why he picked up the second technical foul. "I didn't do anything to get ejected."
Howard now has six technical fouls on the season with 42 games left to play. If that total was to reach 16, Howard would receive an automatic one-game suspension.
The Lakers likely will petition the league to have one or both of Howard's technicals rescinded, but that recourse offers little solace to Howard.
"Ain't nothing they can do now," Howard said, visibly frustrated as he made his way out of the arena to the Lakers' team bus. "We lost the game."
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni declined to offer his opinion on the sequence, saying, "That's a referee call," but several Lakers players spoke out against it.
"What's a player supposed to do when a guy, he's confronted, trying to walk back up the court?" Kobe Bryant said. "An official told me, 'Well, he should just walk away.' I said, 'Which direction should he (walk)?' Should he turn around and just walk to the bench? He's walking down to the other end of the court, to get back on offense. There's nothing he can do. A guy steps up to him, puts a forearm in his chest, what's he supposed to do? You say one thing, now it's a double technical. Now, I just don't agree with that."
World Peace echoed Bryant's take on the ejection.
"That technical was bad," he said. "That technical, I think it was a mistake. That's OK. (The referees) made a mistake. They made a mistake today giving Dwight the tech because the other guy (Anderson) initiated it."
It was the second time this season that Howard has been ejected from a game. The first came in a 126-114 road loss to the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 26, when Howard was called for a flagrant foul 2 for hitting Denver's Kenneth Faried in the face midway through the third quarter.