Josh's back-to-back schedule is flexible

Josh Howard, one game into his latest comeback, might or might not play both games in the back-to-back sequence starting at the Miami Heat on Friday night and back at home against Charlotte on Saturday.

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle had suggested after the Phoenix game that Howard might sit out one of the two to help ease Howard, who scored 20 points in 26 minutes in the win over the Suns, back into normal minutes.

"I’m not going to say which game he’s going to play or not play and I’m not going to say he’s not going to play one of the games," Carlisle said Thursday afternoon as the team prepared to leave for Miami. "Some of that we may play by ear. I don’t think that I definitely said he’ll sit one of the games out. I think it’s a good possibility of it, but we’ll see. I think we’ll know where we are probably after Friday night."

Which sounds as if Howard will be in the lineup Friday against Dwyane Wade and the Heat.

In other Mavs news:

*Guard Quinton Ross, a defensive specialist out with a bad lower back, could be ready for Friday's game, Carlisle said.

*The Mavs will shoot for a Western Conference-high ninth road win at Miami. Dallas (8-4 on the road) has gone two seasons without a winning road record.