Dwight Howard
Photo: AP/David Zalubowski

Dwight Howard has been through a tough week, as he learned his grandma’s passing prior to Sixers’ Monday contest vs. the Utah Jazz.

Despite experiencing grief, Howard was really productive in that game recording a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Before the game against the Rockets Wednesday, Howard explained why he decided to continue play basketball.

(via Sixerswire):

“For me, just getting out there on the court, she would have wanted me to play,” Howard said. “She watched every game that she could, and all I could think about was her. I was glad that I actually got out there and played.

“It meant a lot that this team and the coaches and the players and everyone has been so loving toward me,” he continued.

“I just wanted to go out and play as hard as I could to just let them know that no matter what goes on in my life, I’ll always give them, give his team, and this organization all of me. I just appreciate them so much.”

Howard is an important veteran presence for the Philadelphia 76ers covering for Joel Embiid, when the All-Star big is not available.

While Embiid continues to feel a discomfort in his back, Howard will need to be at his best for the Sixers to remain at the top of the Eastern Conference.