Hornets' Dwight Howard suspended Thursday vs. Grizzlies due to 16th technical of season

The Hornets will reportedly be without their big man Dwight Howard against the Grizzlies on Thursday night in the second leg of a back-to-back, as Howard incurred his 16th technical in Wednesday's win over the Nets. Howard put up 32 points alongside 30 rebounds, in the first 30-rebound game since Kevin Love achieved the feat in 2010.

It's a big loss for the Hornets in a situation where every game has become a must-win if they hope to make the playoffs. At 6.5 games back of the Bucks, the odds look grim with just 10 games remaining. The good news is, the Grizzlies are in the basement of the NBA next to the Suns at 19-52.

Howard is averaging 16.6 points this season, his highest total since 2013. He also has 12.2 rebounds per game, which is tops on the team by far. Cody Zeller, who is questionable Thursday, is second on the team at 5.4 boards. The team may need some more minutes out of Willy Hernangomez, who has played in just 12 games all season.

The Hornets are in dire straits, and Howard will need to be on his best behavior for the rest of the season. The Hornets are likely in never-say-die mode at the moment, but if they fall another game behind the Bucks, who are likely playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo against the Bulls Friday, they'll likely need to officially call the season a wrap.

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