The last time Dwight Howard played in this arena, he was ejected shortly after halftime as his Los Angeles Lakers lost the fourth game of a playoff sweep against the San Antonio Spurs.

His return to Staples Center wasn't much more pleasant, as his new team, the Houston Rockets, got hammered 137-118 Monday night by the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers had few problems with Howard and got huge games from guards Chris Paul (23 points, 17 assists), J.J. Redick (26 points) and sixth man Jamal Crawford (21 points).

Howard was loudly booed during pre-game introductions, then booed each time he touched the ball in the opening minutes.

The boo birds had rather limited opportunities, though, in the first half as Howard picked up three fouls in the first quarter and sat out the entire second quarter.

Afterward, Howard was asked if he was surprised to be booed by Clippers fans.

"I don't care," he said. "They can boo me all they want."