Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinal series was a calamity for the Houston Rockets, who went down 3-1 to the LA Clippers, and Dwight Howard was booted out early in the fourth quarter.

Dwight picked up his sixth foul and a second technical to boot. He also drew the ire of the fans by knocking down an airborne Blake Griffin, who was attempting to viciously posterize the big guy.

Speaking of fans, Howard got into it with a heckler who told him not to cry as things unravelled. Howard mildly threatened the guy by inviting onto the court to settle the beef.

Per the Houston ChronicleAs if the Los Angeles fans were not having enough fun, Howard spent the night in constant foul trouble, picking up his fifth with 3:07 left in the third quarter when he shoved Blake Griffin to the floor to keep Griffin from adding him to the Clippers’ poster collection of the night. He left the court with seven points and five rebounds in 14 minutes and the Clippers leading by 23. […] When he returned to start the fourth quarter, Howard played 2:08 before he got his sixth foul, bumping Griffin on a drive and adding his second technical foul of the evening as the Clippers led by 31.

 

“It (foul trouble) is frustrating,” Howard said. “I get emotional when I’m playing in the playoffs and I want to win so bad. It’s frustrating at times, but I just have to try my best to keep my cool.”

 

He was far from the only struggling Rockets player. (James) Harden had 21 points, but much of his 11-point third quarter came after the Clippers rolled to a near bench-clearing lead. Josh Smith remained entirely ineffective. The Rockets bench, thought to be an advantage in the series, was crushed by Clippers reserves Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford. […] It was little wonder why, with the Clippers again outplaying the Rockets at basketball, the Rockets tried something else. They turned much of the first half into a State Fair midway game, repeatedly fouling (DeAndre) Jordan – who finished with 26 points and 17 rebounds – until he took as many free throws as he ever has in a game in the first half. Jordan went 10 of 28 from the line in the first half, taking more free throws in a half than anyone ever has.