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Dwight Howard caught using Stickum, but 'ain't even tripping'

Dwight Howard caught using Stickum, but 'ain't even tripping'

Dwight Howard’s turnover rate, rebounding rate, and free throw percentages are all just about in line with his career averages. They might be about to take a bit of a dive, though.

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During Saturday night’s Houston Rockets/Atlanta Hawks game, Hawk All-Star Paul Millsap noticed that the game ball seemed a little more clingy than usual. The sort of “clingy,” if we’re honest, that we’d always imagined Dwight Howard would be in a relationship.

In between first quarter free throws (following a make, even), Millsap grimaced and told lead referee Monty McCutchen that something was definitely a little too sticky. Though none of the other 11 (at that point) players in the game had noticed it, to say nothing of the three refs, it was immediately sussed out that Howard was culpable of doctoring the ball due to his Stickum use.

Howard, as he usually does, giggled a lot. Watch:

Howard, as he usually does, then made things a lot worse following the game:

"I've been using it for the last five years," Howard said. "It hasn't been a problem. I don't know why people are making a big deal out of it. I do it every game. It's not a big deal. I ain't even tripping."

Stickum is illegal in the NBA. You’re not really supposed to cop to using it every game, when asked. Especially after being reminded that, hey, Stickum is illegal in the NBA.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore:

As Howard was about to check back into the game, he sprayed his hands at the scorer’s table with a can covered in white tape – apparently to hide its contents. He entered the game as Paul Millsap was at the free-throw line and grabbed the ball after a made first attempt. When Millsap got the ball back it clearly had a foreign substance on it.

“I’ve never felt the ball like that ever,” Millsap said after the game. “It was sticky. It was like super glue or something was on there. I couldn’t get it off my hands. It was the weirdest thing ever.”

Official Monty McCutchen grabbed the ball and went to each bench to issue a warning, saying ‘Stickum is illegal in the NBA.’ After first going to the Hawks bench he made his way toward the Rockets bench. Rockets coach J.B. Bickerstaff slid in front of the can, still at the scorer’s table. McCutchen noted he knew what Bickerstaff was hiding.

No penalty was enforced. The can was then removed from the scorer’s table by a member of the Rockets’ staff. According to one person, the team did not produce the spray can when ask for it later by an official.

The Rockets went on to lose to the Hawks by a 109-97 score. Howard grabbed 17 rebounds but missed five of seven shots on his way to eight points. He banked in two free throws.

The Hawks won and won comfortably, but as you may have noticed in the clip above Millsap missed his second (Stickum-less, weirdly) free throw, and Howard was allowed to remain in the game after Rox coach J.B. Bickerstaff hid the offending and obviously concealed spray. Had Atlanta lost by a point, the team would have had a clear protest situation on its hands, and the team certainly would have protested had Howard erupted for a major scoring burst in a Houston win.

Luckily for all involved neither of those outcomes showed up, so we’re all allowed to laugh and Dwight Howard all over again. What won’t be as funny, especially with the Rockets just a half-game up on the Dallas Mavericks for the seventh spot in the West’s postseason race, will be the NBA’s eventual punishment for a guy that just copped to using an illegal substance on his hand for five years.

(By the way, Dwight Howard’s free throw percentage in what he says was his last Stickum-free season? Nearly 60 percent.

In the five years since? They’ve shot down to 49, 49, 55, 53, and 50 percent. The dude can’t even cheat right.)

(Video via ClutchFans.net, whom our hearts go out to.)

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Kelly Dwyer

is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!