Mavericks 102, Suns 101

Josh Howard looked sharp coming off a 13-game break to

rehabilitate his surgically repaired left ankle, scoring 18 of his

20 points in the second half and leading the Dallas Mavericks to a

102-101 victory over the reeling Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.

Howard missed the first five games of the season recovering from

the surgery, then lasted just 2 1/2 games. He scored 16 points

during a stretch late in the third quarter and early in the fourth

when Dallas went from being tied at 66 to leading 88-79.

Phoenix made three 3-pointers in the final 47.9 seconds to make

things interesting all the way to the buzzer, but the Suns wound up

losing for the fourth time in five games.

Dirk Nowitzki had 33 points and eight rebounds.