Howard Out With Sprained Right Ankle

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Dallas forward Josh Howard was sidelined after just six scoreless minutes in Game 2 against Denver because of a sprained right ankle.

The Mavericks' energizer went to the bench late in the first quarter after he appeared to land awkwardly on his right foot while trying to block Carmelo Anthony's layup.

Howard has been hampered all season by a balky left ankle and sprained his right one in the first half of the opener Sunday night at Denver.

Howard missed 30 games in the regular season but his return sparked Dallas down the stretch and he played a key role in the Mavericks' elimination of San Antonio in the first round.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)