NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Garnett was ejected for head-butting Dwight Howard and throwing the ball at him during the Brooklyn Nets' loss to the Houston Rockets in the NBA on Monday.

Howard also received a technical foul after appearing to throw a forearm into Garnett's neck area.

Garnett was angry after he was called for a foul against Howard with 7:53 left in the first quarter, and the players lightly shoved each other. Garnett then threw the ball into Howard's back, and as the players went face-to-face, Garnett rammed his head near Howard's mouth.

Howard responded with his right hand, and even after the players were separated, Garnett tried to get at Howard again before being escorted toward the locker room.

"In the good old days that was a play-on, now they throw people out," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "I don't think it was that big of a deal."

Howard received only a technical foul, with Nets coach Lionel Hollins saying officials told him it didn't look like Howard threw a punch. If the NBA decides otherwise after a review, he could be suspended on Wednesday when the Rockets return to Orlando, his longtime NBA home.

"That's not up to me," Howard said.

Without Garnett, a Nets team that had held its previous eight opponents under 100 points, the longest streak in the NBA this season, was overwhelmed 113-99.