DALLAS (AP) -Mavericks forward Josh Howard missed a second straight game Tuesday night, keeping Dallas without one of its top defenders against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Howard sprained his left wrist against Denver on Friday night. Without him, the Mavs were trampled 103-92 Sunday by the previously winless Los Angeles Clippers.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said Howard remains day-to-day. The Mavericks next play Thursday at Chicago, then are home Friday against Orlando.
``(There's) some gradual improvement, but he's just not there yet,'' Carlisle said 90 minutes before facing the Lakers.
Howard is the team's second-leading scorer at 17 points and is tied with Dirk Nowitzki for the rebounding lead at 7.2. He's also third in assists.

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