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News » Howard hits the court running 16-point debut sparks struggling offense to season-high point total


Howard hits the court running 16-point debut sparks struggling offense to season-high point total


Howard hits the court running 16-point debut sparks struggling offense to season-high point total The Mavericks' inconsistent offense received a big boost Saturday night with the return of swingman Josh Howard.

And the Toronto Raptors received an up-close look at just how potent the Mavericks' new-look lineup can be with Howard in the mix.

Howard made his season debut and helped spark a 129-101 rout over the Raptors at American Airlines Center.

Howard missed the Mavericks' first five games while recovering from off-season left ankle surgery. He started Saturday and finished with 16 points in 25 minutes.

"I think it's important to understand what he's been through and make sure expectations are somewhat tempered," coach Rick Carlisle said, "but this is obviously a day we've been looking forward to for a while."

Howard didn't play the fourth quarter because the Mavericks (4-2) didn't need him. They put it on cruise control early in the final quarter against a Toronto team (3-3) playing on back-to-back nights for the first time this season.

The Mavericks had struggled shooting and scoring all season with Howard watching from the bench. In his return, the Mavericks shot a season-high 62.4 percent from the field and scored a season-high 129 points. Dirk Nowitzki had 13 of his game-high 29 points in the third quarter, and Jason Terry finished with 19 while Shawn Marion added 18.

The Mavericks , who hadn't scored more than 97 points in regulation all season, had 100 points by the 8:09 mark of the fourth quarter after Terry made a 3-pointer from the left corner to expand Dallas' lead to 22.

Toronto All-Star forward Chris Bosh - the Lincoln product who leads the Raptors in scoring and rebounding - finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, and 7-foot center Andrea Bargnani added 22.

The Mavericks closed their best offensive night of the season with a 44-point fourth quarter with mostly reserves on the floor. They shot a blistering 74.4 percent in the second half.

Howard must have been itching to get back on the court. He came out aggressive and never let up.

Howard drove to the basket early and often and worked his way to the free throw line. He scored five of the team's first seven points and played the entire first quarter.

In the last minute of the first half, Howard nabbed his third steal and took the ball coast to coast for a driving layup into traffic, giving him 13 points at halftime.

Howard was in pain throughout last season and had surgery May 22 on his left ankle and left wrist. He wasn't cleared for contact drills until Oct. 14.

Lingering soreness in Howard's ankle caused him to miss the team's first five games. He wasn't able to go through a full practice until earlier this week.

"It's always good to get a player like [Howard] back," Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd said. "With Josh, he definitely brings a lot to the table and at the end of the day, he just makes us better."

SMU-ex Ross returns from back injury: Guard Quinton Ross of SMU returned from a bruised lower back injury Saturday and scored six points in 10 minutes against Toronto.

Ross injured his back in the first half Tuesday against Utah while trying to draw a charging foul. He missed Wednesday's game at New Orleans and didn't practice Friday. But Ross said he felt good after Saturday morning's shoot-around and decided he was ready to go.

Gooden, Thomas out again: Mavericks forwards Drew Gooden and Tim Thomas were inactive again Saturday. Gooden (right rib cage muscle strain) missed his fourth consecutive game. Thomas (right knee surgery) hasn't played this season.

Together at last

With Josh Howard making his season debut, the Mavericks' trio of Howard, Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki were on the court together for the first time Saturday. How they fared:

Marion Nowitzki Howard

Minutes 29:19 36:51 24:22

FGs 9-11 12-20 5-12

Points 18 29 16

Rebs. 8 9 4

Assts. 1 4 2

Steals 1 2 3

Mavericks 129, Raptors 101

Raptors M FG

M-A 3-pt

M-A FT

M-A Tot.

Pts. Reb.

O-T Ast. F Stl TO Blk Sea.

Avg. High

Game

Turkoglu 31:14 3-8 0-3 2-3 8 0-4 3 4 0 0 1 14.2 19

Bosh 31:40 8-16 1-1 9-11 26 6-12 1 0 1 3 1 28.5 37

Bargnani 33:25 8-16 3-6 3-3 22 1-5 0 1 0 0 1 20.7 28

Calderon 35:21 6-13 0-2 1-2 13 0-4 7 1 2 2 0 11.3 16

DeRozan 17:02 1-1 0-0 0-2 2 0-1 2 5 1 1 1 5.2 8

Wright 18:23 1-9 1-5 2-2 5 1-4 0 1 0 1 0 6.3 12

Jack 25:34 3-8 3-4 0-0 9 0-2 0 1 0 3 0 7.3 9

Johnson 21:26 1-3 0-0 2-2 4 4-7 0 4 0 1 0 3.2 6

Belinelli 15:15 1-4 0-1 2-2 4 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 6.3 10

Banks 5:20 2-2 0-0 0-0 4 0-0 2 1 0 1 0 2.0 0

O'Bryant 5:20 2-2 0-0 0-0 4 0-0 0 2 0 1 0 2.0 0

Totals 240:00 36-82 8-22 21-27 101 12-39 16 20 5 14 4 107.0 116

Mavericks M FG

M-A 3-pt

M-A FT

M-A Tot.

Pts. Reb.

O-T Ast. F Stl TO Blk Sea.

Avg. High

Game

Marion 29:19 9-11 0-0 0-0 18 2-8 1 1 1 0 0 14.3 18

Nowitzki 36:51 12-20 3-4 2-2 29 0-9 4 0 2 3 1 26.7 40

Dampier 18:17 2-4 0-0 1-4 5 2-6 2 3 0 1 1 8.8 16

Kidd 26:21 1-1 1-1 0-0 3 0-2 6 1 1 2 0 6.7 19

Howard 24:22 5-12 0-4 6-10 16 0-4 2 2 3 0 0 16.0 16

Terry 32:18 8-12 3-5 0-1 19 0-2 4 1 1 1 0 18.0 35

Barea 24:14 2-6 0-2 0-0 4 1-3 12 3 0 1 0 9.0 13

Singleton 18:08 4-5 2-3 0-0 10 0-2 0 4 2 1 1 4.0 10

Humphries 13:12 3-5 0-0 2-2 8 1-5 1 3 1 0 0 6.2 9

Ross 9:43 3-4 0-0 0-0 6 0-1 0 1 0 0 0 3.2 6

Beaubois 4:06 2-3 0-0 2-2 6 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 5.0 9

Carroll 3:09 2-2 1-1 0-0 5 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1.3 5

Totals 240:00 53-85 10-20 13-21 129 6-42 32 19 11 9 3 101.7 129

1 2 3 4 OT F 2FG% 3FG% TFG% FT%

TORONTO 25 23 22 31 - 101 .467 .364 .439 .778

DALLAS 26 29 30 44 - 129 .662 .500 .624 .619

Halftime: Mavericks 55-48. Third Quarter: Mavericks 85-70. Opponents' largest lead: 5 points. Mavericks' largest lead: 28 points. Lead changes: 5. Team Rebounds: Toronto 2, Mavericks 9. Team Turnovers: Toronto 14, Mavericks 9. Attendance: 19,977 (cap. 19,200) Time: 2:10. Technical Fouls: none. Flagrant Fouls: none. Officials: Mike Callahan, Derrick Collins, Olandis Poole.


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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 10, 2009

 

 
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