Southwest Notes: Mavericks, Howard, Leonard

It’s possible that Raymond Felton and Richard Jefferson have played their last game with the Mavericks, according to Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle. Both are listed as questionable for Game 4 of their series with the Rockets after leaving Game 3 early. Felton is battling a sore hamstring, and Jefferson has a calf injury. “I believe that Felton is probably going to be able to play,” coach Rick Carlisle said after today’s practice. “Jefferson is getting a lot of treatment so we will check on him tomorrow.” Felton has a player option for nearly $4MM next season, while Jefferson is on a one-year deal worth more than $1.4MM. The Rockets have a 3-0 lead in the series.

There’s more from the Southwest Division on a playoff weekend:

  • After more than two months of battling knee problems, the RocketsDwight Howard looks like himself again, writes Calvin Watkins of  Swelling in his right knee cost Howard a huge chunk of the regular season. He was able to return late in the year, but was on a strict minutes restriction. However, he has put up huge numbers in the playoffs, including a 26-rebound performance in Friday’s Game 3. “I think he’s getting comfortable with what he’s doing and playing well,” said coach Kevin McHale, “and he’s got great energy and his leg looks great, fantastic.” The Rockets are hoping to find playoff success with Howard, who has an opt-out clause after the 2015/16 season.
  • The presence of Kawhi Leonard means the Spurs’ future is secure, contends Scott Cacciola of The New York Times. The 23-year-old, who was named Defensive Player of the Year this week, celebrated Friday by torching the Clippers for 32 points in Game 3 of their playoff series. Leonard can become a restricted free agent this summer, but is considered virtually certain to remain in San Antohio.
  • Rookie Fuquan Edwin will join the Pelicans’ summer league team, according to Enea Trapani of Sportando. Edwin has signed to play in Venezuela with Guaros de Lara. He spent this season with Sioux Falls in the D-League, averaging 13.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

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