Howard, Van Horn in for Dallas
DALLAS (AP) _ Mavericks forward Josh Howard was able to start Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Friday night and was joined by a mildly surprising starter at center _ Keith Van Horn.
Van Horn made his first start since April 14, 2005, in place of Erick Dampier. The move gives Dallas a smaller, more perimeter-oriented lineup to throw at the Phoenix Suns. The Suns won the opener 121-118; Van Horn played 23 minutes, seven more than Dampier.
Howard was a game-time decision because of a bone bruise on his right ankle that knocked him out of Game 1 after only six minutes. He didn’t practice Thursday, but tested it on the team’s practice court about an hour before tipoff.
As expected, Phoenix started Leandro Barbosa in place of Raja Bell, who injured his calf in the fourth quarter of Game 1.