DALLAS (AP) -Dallas' Josh Howard and Portland's Brandon Roy were out with injuries when their teams met Saturday night.
Howard, an All-Star forward, sprained an ankle the night before. Roy scored 24 points in 37 minutes in a victory over Houston the night before but didn't dress because of a knee injury.
Howard was injured in the first quarter of a loss at Denver and didn't return. With only seven games left in the regular season and Dallas closing in on the top seed in the Western Conference, it only made sense that the Mavericks were being careful with their second-leading scorer, although coach Avery Johnson didn't like it portrayed that way.
``Let's just say he's out - no precaution,'' Johnson said.
Devean George started in Howard's place.
``Hopefully he'll be ready to go by the next game or the next game or the next game, but most of all by the playoffs,'' Johnson said.


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