Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic earned his 18th technical foul of the season during Wednesday's game against the Charlotte Bobcats, and will thus be suspended for Sunday's nationally televised battle with the Chicago Bulls.
In the second period, referee Bennett Salvatore whistled Howard for a 10-second free throw violation, his third of the season and second in as many nights. As Howard walked away from the foul line, he rolled the ball to the baseline and almost into the seats. Salvatore then rang him up for a technical foul.
Unless the NBA rescinds the technical, Howard will earn his second suspension of the season. He previously sat out a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 7th. Because the NBA let a similar technical earned on Christmas Day stand, it's unlikely he'll receive a reprieve here.
Under league rules players are suspended for one game following their 16th technical foul of the season; they then receive one-game suspensions for every two technicals following the 16th.
Howard may not be the only Magic player serving a suspension Sunday against the East-leading Bulls. Swingman Quentin Richardson shoved the Bobcats' Gerald Henderson in the face with both hands during a dead ball in the fourth quarter and was ejected. He is subject to disciplinary action.