Mavs Beat Bulls in Preseason Finale

10-23-07 - Josh Howard scored 19 points before leaving in the third quarter with a wrist injury, and the Dallas Mavericks completed their preseason schedule with a 96-88 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

Howard was on defense when he sprained his left wrist while reacting to a pump-fake by Chicago's Ben Gordon. X-rays were negative, but after the game Howard wore a split on the wrist and will have an MRI exam on Wednesday morning.

"It's just real sore," Howard said. "I've got to get an MRI and see what's going on. When it happened, it didn't feel real good."

Howard is suspended by the NBA for the first two regular-season games, punishment for his role in an altercation in a preseason game, giving him extra time to recover from the injury.

Dallas' Jason Terry hit all six field goal attempts and added 16 points. Devin Harris had 13 points, and Dirk Nowitzki and Brandon Bass finished with 10 apiece for the Mavericks (5-3).

Thomas Gardner, Thabo Sefolosha and Joakim Noah all scored 12 points to pace the Bulls (3-3).

The Mavericks open the regular season on Oct. 31 at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Chicago has one exhibition game remaining, Thursday night at home against Milwaukee, before starting the regular season on Oct. 31 at the New Jersey Nets.

Dallas moved to a 30-25 lead after one quarter as Howard scored 10 points, going 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

Howard's 15 points and Harris' 12 helped the Mavericks to a 57-45 halftime advantage. Dallas went 19-for-23 from the free throw line in the first half, while Chicago was 7-for-14.

The Mavericks led by as many as 25 in the third quarter and cruised to their third straight exhibition win.