Friday shootaround inconclusive for Mavs' coach

Mavericks coach Avery Johnson had yet to decide whether forwards Dirk Nowitzki or Josh Howard will play in Friday night's game against New York after watching both perform in an early team shootaround.

Both tweaked ankles against Milwaukee on Wednesday.

"I like to err on the side of caution,'' Johnson told the Dallas Morning News. "There were some situations last year when guys could have come back a game or two sooner, but I held them out. If I see any sort of danger -- any type of danger -- the guy's not going to play.

"At the end of the day, I want to have this team mentally and physically ready for the playoffs. And I thought we did a pretty good job of that last year.''

Johnson said both players would be reevaluated before the game to see if, and how much, they might play.

The game could be significant for Nowitzki in many ways. His next point will put him at 15,000 for his career.