Rockets’ Dwight Howard sparks mild reaction from L.A. crowd in Game 3 loss

first_imgToo bad, considering Howard said he embraced the endless scrutiny.“That’s fun. It’s the playoffs,” said Howard, who posted a quiet 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, 14 rebounds and two blocks. “Playing in those hostile environments where you have the crowd booing you, they want you to mess up so badly. I love it. It’s a great atmosphere for me and my teammates.”The Rockets believed Howard thrived in such an environment, mindful that he finished with two 20-point-plus performances in both a Lakers and Clippers road game within the last two years. He also entered Game 3 averaging 18.4 points on 62 percent shooting and 13.4 rebounds in the 2015 postseason. Howard may have finished the first quarter of Game 3 against the Clippers with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting and six rebounds. But he rotated slowly on the Clippers’ pick-and-roll coverages, allowing Blake Griffin wide-open looks at the basket. That contrasted to when Howard finished with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting, 13 rebounds and three blocks last season here against the Lakers, while playfully joining along to the persistent “Howard sucks” chants. Instead, Howard’s latest game mirrored the 13 points and 11 rebounds he posted in the season-opening win over the Lakers in October when he elbowed Kobe Bryant before exchanging words. Dwight Howard walked onto the court as soon he heard his name announced during the starting lineup introductions.That also meant the Rockets’ center heard something else.The sellout crowd at Staples Center greeted Howard with boos, the soundtrack of his life whenever he has visited Los Angeles since leaving the Lakers two years ago for Houston. But the jeering dropped substantially for the rest of the Clippers’ 124-99 Game 3 win in their Western Conference semifinals series against the Rockets on Friday at Staples Center. The Clippers are up 2-1 in their best-of-seven series with Game 4 taking place on Sunday at Staples Center.Fans resisted booing Howard whenever he attempted a shot or held the ball. They did not chant “Howard sucks” over and over again. The only other boos emerged whenever Howard stepped to the free-throw line, a customary greeting for any opposing player. “He’s been through it all,” Rockets guard James Harden said beforehand. “No different tonight. He’s going to go out there the way he’s been playing this postseason, dominating the paint, rebounding the basketball, finishing and dunking and leading our team.” Yet, it remains diffucult to notice any trend that Howard truly flourishes in this setting despite his contention it never involved a learning process. Howard missed two Clippers home games and one Lakers home game this season because of a persistent right knee injury. But on Friday, Howard did not meet the same level of contentiousness as he has on other nights in Los Angeles. All of which sparked the Rockets to offer a dismissive eye roll as quickly as Howard usually swats away a shot. “When fans start coming onto the court and blocking shots and stuff like that, then they’ll have an impact,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “If they’re booing you, they must be afraid of you or they don’t like you. You’re doing something right. When they’re cheering you on the road, you’re doing something wrong.” center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

CDC, Police Prepare

first_imgThe Liberia National Police disclosed it has held a meeting with the leadership of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) ahead of the party’s rally today.Today’s rally, according to the CDC, is to petition Senator George Weah to run for president in the 2017 elections.The LNP said it wants the party to adhere to details of the discussion on today’s march, which among other things calls for the free flow of traffic and avoiding acts that will impede the free movement of people during CDC’s program.A police statement issued yesterday said an agreement was reached between the police and the CDC that there will be no interference with the traffic during the time of the march, to which the CDC has agreed, saying it will provide party workers to assist with crowd control.The police said due to congestion on many streets in Monrovia, it has informed the CDC to bus or truck their partisans to their headquarters to avoid impeding both human and motor vehicle traffic.According to the LNP, its interaction with the CDC was based upon a letter addressed to the Ministry of Justice, in which the CDC informed the Ministry of its desire to seek police protection for today’s program.The LNP has therefore encouraged the party to live up to the details of the meeting to avoid “unforeseen circumstances.” As for other political parties, the LNP said it has also encouraged them to engage the police whenever the need arises, as the police remain open to provide protection to all groups or individuals regardless of status.Meanwhile, since 2005, the CDC has continued to pull large crowds during rallies, demonstrating football legend George Weah’s popularity with the youth.The George Weah-Rudolph Johnson ticket in 2005 took the party to a run-off with the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-Joseph Boakai ticket of the Unity Party (UP).The UP won the runoff and the victory nearly erupted into chaos, with the CDC crying foul, but Providence allowed the intervention of the international community to defuse the tension. Six years later, the CDC, which remained the major opposition party, again went to a runoff with the UP. Weah ran again, but as vice standard bearer to Ambassador Winston Tubman. The poll again went into a runoff, with Weah losing out on the nation’s second highest seat. A day before the runoff elections, the CDC stormed the streets of Monrovia and Paynesville to warn the government and the international community that the party would not accept the results from the runoff elections to be held on November 8, 2011. The rally – pulling thousands of sympathizers – ended in a bloody demonstration, which the CDC has termed: “CDC Massacre Day.”The CDC believed that what occurred at their compound was an assassination attempt on Amb. Winston Tubman and George Weah. There were at least three deaths, and many wounded.Three years later, Weah ran for the Senate and pulling a huge crowd, convincingly won the elections for Montserrado County with a “very wide and historic margin” between him and the President’s son, Robert Sirleaf.Again, this would be the CDC’s sixth rally (two times each in 2005 and 2011; once in 2014) with a few years to the 2017 presidential elections.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more