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Howard starts fast as Mavericks roll past Kings

Dec 19, 2006 - 7:10 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Once again, Josh Howard gave the Sacramento Kings the business.

Howard scored 14 of his 28 points in the first quarter as the Dallas Mavericks cruised to a 109-91 victory over the Kings.

Dirk Nowitzki collected 29 points and 13 rebounds and Jason Terry added 22 points, including four 3-pointers, and six assists for the Mavericks, who won their fourth straight game.

On December 1, Howard netted 24 points, making 10-of-14 shots as Dallas rolled to a 109-90 triumph at home. In the rematch Monday, the 6-7 forward made 6-of-7 shots in the opening period, helping the Mavericks to a 19-5 cushion halfway through the frame and a 33-18 lead at the end of the quarter.

"We're just going out there, playing our game, doing what Coach (Avery Johnson) wants us to do at the start of the game and continuing it throughout the game," Howard said. "We're just trying to be more consistent."

Howard connected on 12-of-16 attempts, including three 3-pointers, and made three steals.

"Now more and more (we're) seeing the complete game which we've had for him (Howard)," Johnson said. "He's playing on an All-Star level."

"Josh has been really amazing, he's been getting off to hot starts lately and shooting the three-ball like he's never shot it before," Nowitzki said. "He still slashes, still rebounds and is probably our best defender. It's fun to watch him grow up in this league and improve from year to year. He's really developed into an All-Star-type player."

The Mavs entered the locker room with a 54-40 advantage. They maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half en route to a 2-0 record on their three-game road trip.

Brad Miller scored 19 points and Kenny Thomas finished with 15 and 15 rebounds for Sacramento, which has lost six of its last nine home games.

"Josh came out hot in the beginning and we were trying to contain him," Thomas said. "Then Dirk got going, he knocked down shots. Those guys are going to knock down shots, that's just the way it is. We've just got to play better defense."

The Kings' Kevin Martin missed the game due to an ankle injury.

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