Los Angeles Clippers (21-48) at Dallas Mavericks (44-26),
Since: Mar 08
#1 Mar 25, 2008
March 25, 2008
CBSSports.com wire reports
Howard takes over, leads Dirk-less Mavs past Clippers
DALLAS -- Life without Dirk Nowitzki started quite nicely for the Dallas Mavericks.
Josh Howard scored 32 points, Jerry Stackhouse had 20, Erick Dampier had 19 points and 17 rebounds and Jason Kidd neared a triple-double, lifting the Mavs past the Los Angeles Clippers 103-90 on Tuesday night.
OK, so it was only the Clippers. Still, Dallas needed something to go right after dropping three consecutive games and losing its leading scorer and rebounder to a sprained ankle and knee. And this kind of team-wide effort could serve as a blueprint for how they hope to make up for Nowitzki's absence down the stretch.
"If everyone goes up four or five points, that'll cover it," Howard said.
Howard was an All-Star last season and was the team's top scorer for the early part of this season, but he's been fighting through injuries and learning to play with Kidd. This was easily his best game since the All-Star point guard arrived.
It didn't start that way, with Howard going 2-of-11 and getting to the line only once in the first half. Dampier was the early star, getting 12 points and 12 rebounds over the first two quarters.
"Damp obviously was very inspired," coach Avery Johnson said. "We need him to do what he did tonight, not necessarily the numbers but being aggressive going to the basket."
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