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News » Mavericks-Heat Preview 2009-12-11


Mavericks-Heat Preview 2009-12-11


Mavericks-Heat Preview 2009-12-11Josh Howard might have to miss a game occasionally due to lingering pain in his surgically repaired left ankle. The Miami Heat could use a break from facing the Dallas Mavericks' veteran swingman.

With Howard's status uncertain again, the Mavericks look to extend a 10-game regular-season winning streak against the Heat on Friday night.

Howard was back on the court Tuesday night after missing 13 games, giving Dallas (15-7) a boost off the bench in a 102-101 win over Phoenix. He had 20 points, six rebounds and three steals, preparing his ankle before the game with bandage and a brace.

"It's going to be sore, guys, it's going to be sore the rest of the year," he said.

Coach Rick Carlisle said Howard may miss one of the Mavs' back-to-back games this weekend. Dallas hosts Charlotte on Saturday night.

Howard hasn't missed a matchup during the Mavericks' 10-game regular-season run against the Heat, averaging 16.1 points and 6.5 rebounds. Dallas has won six straight overall against Miami since losing the 2006 NBA finals in six games.

Howard played in each of those contests, too, then made his first All-Star team the following season. His left ankle bothered him for most of 2008-09, limiting him to 52 games, and he missed 18 of the first 21 this season.

Howard is averaging 14.5 points in four contests.

Miami (11-9) is expected to get starting center Jermaine O'Neal back after he missed a 115-102 win at Sacramento on Sunday night due to a family issue. O'Neal is averaging 14.3 points and 8.1 rebounds.

Joel Anthony started for O'Neal, posting five points and five rebounds. Dwyane Wade had 34 points and 10 assists to lead the Heat, while Dorell Wright had the breakout game he had been seeking.

Wright had a season-high 19 points in the same arena where he went down with a torn meniscal tear in his left knee March 2, 2008. The forward missed the rest of that season, and the injury lingered as he was only able to play in six games in 2008-09.

Wright was averaging 2.4 points in 12 games before playing a season-high 29 minutes against the Kings.

"He was a starter two years ago," Wade said. "It was great that Dorell was finally given an opportunity again and was able to come through."

Wade continues to carry Miami offensively, but he's 0 for 10 from 3-point range over his last five games. He's shooting 24.0 percent from beyond the arc after making a career-best 31.7 percent last season.

Wade ranks fifth in the league in scoring, averaging 27.1 points. He's just ahead of Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki, who averages 27.0 and has topped 30 in each of his last two games.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 11, 2009

 

 
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