Status of injured starters Howard, Bell uncertain
Howard sprained his right ankle midway through the first quarter of the Suns' 121-118 victory. X-rays taken during the game showed no break. The team said Thursday that an MRI revealed a right ankle bone bruise and he is day-to-day.
Bell sustained a left calf injury with 5:27 left in the game. He didn't put any weight on his leg when he was helped off the court by teammates. He had eight points in 36 minutes.
"It's pretty painful right now. I never experienced something like that," Bell said after the game. "I thought someone threw something at me from the stands. But then it started to burn, and right now, it's pretty sore."
Bell left the locker room on crutches but said he was optimistic about playing in Game 2 on Friday night.
Howard walked off the court gingerly with 6:01 left in the first quarter. He already had six points on 3-of-4 shooting.
Howard's versatility and defensive prowess make him potentially a key figure this series. Plus, Dallas is 21-0 this season when he scores at least 20 points, including twice in the playoffs.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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