If it wasn't for the Charlotte Hornets' losing record this season, Dwight Howard might have had a real chance to become an All-Star this year.
The center is enjoying a resurgent campaign with the Hornets and has been in impressive form over the past month where he's looked like his old dominant self.
In a 123-110 rout against his former Atlanta Hawks team on Wednesday night, the eight-time All-Star posted his 10 consecutive double-double and his 32nd of the campaign with 20 points and 12 rebounds on 8-of-13 shooting.
It was his first return to ATL since he was traded by his hometown team in the summer after just one season there.
He clearly had a point to prove in this 'revenge game' and wanted to put in a strong display, which he certainly did on both ends of the floor.
As well as his big outing, the veteran also produced the highlight play of the night as he put the exclamation point on the win late in the fourth quarter.
Charlotte was up by 17 with just under five minutes to go but Howard was not prepared to slow down and take things easy.
After receiving a pass from Kemba Walker just outside the paint, the 32-year-old took one dribble and threw down a vicious dunk on his former Atlanta teammate Mike Muscala.
Muscala made an admirable attempt to challenge the ball but he was instead placed on a poster by the aggressive Howard and was also called for the foul.
The big man enjoyed his return to Atlanta but he didn't get the best of receptions from the crowd inside Philips Arena.
During the first timeout, the franchise made the classy gesture of giving their ex-player a video tribute and posted a message on the video board which said: "Thanks for being true to Atlanta."
But there was a mixed reaction from Hawks fans and there were a few boos for him during the player introductions.
It was Howard who had the last laugh, however, as his powerful performance inspired the Hornets to a big win.
He set the tone with the game's first two baskets and it was the catalyst for his and Charlotte's night.
"We got out to a good lead ... and they were never able to fully recover from that," Howard said, per ESPN.
Despite the win, the North Carolina-based franchise is still 21-29 in the east and have a mountain to climb in the second half of the season if they want to secure a playoff position as they're five games out of the eighth spot.
But if Howard can continue playing in this manner and they manage to go on a winning run, they may give themselves a chance to pull it off.News Now - Sport News