The bad blood between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard surfaced Tuesday night, in the Houston Rockets’ 108-90 romp over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kobe took exception to an elbow from Dwight in the fourth quarter, calling him “soft” and several other unprintable words as the two former teammates jawed at one another.

Howard and Bryant were both hit with technical fouls.

Per the LA Daily News:

“He elbowed me in the face and I’m going to let him know that I don’t like that,” Bryant said. “It’s that simple.”

 

Bryant and Howard exchanged barbs. Officials separated the two before reviewing the play. They then granted Bryant a personal foul, Howard a flagrant foul and a technical foul for each. During that time, Bryant could be seen telling Howard to “try me” before telling him that he’s “soft.” Howard answered back with words that remained hard to lip read. […] Said Howard: “There’s no need to go into it. We won the game. It’s about basketball. It’s over. It’s nothing. I’m not even focused on it.”

 

“They don’t like each other,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “Simple as that.” […] “You can’t help but like him. He’s a teddy bear,” Bryant said. “I really mean it. He’s a really nice kid.” […] “I think it’s fantastic. That’s the game,” Bryant said. “Elbows are part of the game. Trash talk is part of the game. I don’t know why the NBA has become so sensitive.”