Howard Propels Dirk-Less Mavs Past Clippers
They halt 3-game skid with 103-90 victory
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2008 4:41 AM CDT
Los Angeles Clippers forward Corey Maggette, left, struggles with Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd, right, for a loose ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas.    ((AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez))
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(Newser) – In the Mavs' first game since Dirk Nowitzki was sidelined with sprains to his left knee and ankle, Josh Howard stepped up with a 32-point performance, lifting Dallas over the Clippers, 103-90. Howard started slowly before exploding in the third quarter, scoring 20 rapid points to break open a 60-58 lead into a 16-point Dallas advantage by the fourth.

Erick Dampier joined his teammate on the leader board, scoring 19 points with 17 rebounds, and keeping the Mavs in it early. The win snaps a three-game skid for Dallas, who are in a tight playoff race in the West with Golden State and Denver, the next two teams they face. The Clippers have now lost eight straight games.