Monday, December 10, 2007

Mavs notes: Fast starts/finishes for J-Ho

NEW YORK -- Josh Howard finished strong against Utah. Real strong. The career-high 47-point performance featured 16 points in the fourth quarter, as the Mavericks pulled away late for a 125-117 win.

Howard is no stranger to being the man down the stretch. It’s just been some time.

“In the past I’ve done that,” said Howard, referring to his days at Wake Forest. “Coach has preached to me this year to finish in the fourth. I see that I average something like seven points in the first [quarter], five in the middle ones and just three in the fourth.”

Mavs coach Avery Johnson acknowledged the offense getting away from Howard too much in the fourth quarter this season, even though the fifth-year small forward went into Monday night leading the team in scoring at 22.4 points per game.

Normally, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry take the big shots in crunch time.

“That’s one of the things we talked about,” Johnson said before facing the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. “I had a couple of plays that I wanted to run specifically in the fourth quarter just to make sure he at least touched the ball. Now I didn’t know if he was going to score.”

Read more from tonight’s notes at

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