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Rockets Dwight Howard leaves game early with ankle injury

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Dwight Howard leaves game after rolling his ankle.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It was an up and down night for Rockets center Dwight Howard. He knocked down his fifth career three-pointer while the shot clock was winding down, but he left Friday's game with an apparent ankle injury.

Howard left in the first half after rolling his ankle going for a rebound. He was in clear pain and walked gingerly his leg. Howard went to the locker room and did not return.

The Rockets announced that Howard had a right ankle sprain:

Without Howard, the Rockets are left to lean on Joey DorseyDonatas Motiejunas, and Josh Smith to protect the paint. The Rockets are locked in a tight one with the Suns in the fourth without Howard.