Nowitzki makes season debut vs. Spurs
by Ellen J. Horrow, USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks fans got an early Christmas present Sunday when Dirk Nowitzki made his long-anticipated 2012-13 debut against the Spurs in San Antonio.
Earlier this week, the All-Star forward had indicated that he could return to action after Christmas and he surprised some when he participated in warmups for the first time this season. Moments later, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted: “There will be a Dirk sighting tonight.”
Nowitzki, 34, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in October after playing in just one preseason game. He resumed practice for the first time last Wednesday.
Nowitzki checked in at the 6:28 mark of the first quarter, replacing Dahntay Jones. Sixteen second later, he hauled down his first rebound of the season.
He recorded a steal off Spurs guard Manu Ginobili at the 2:41mark and hauled down two more defensive rebounds before closing out the quarter with a dunk with 23.9 seconds remaining to pull the Mavericks within six points of the Spurs.