After missing the team’s first 27 games, Dirk Nowitzki made a surprise return to the court Sunday night, as the Dallas Mavericks traveled to San Antonio to take on their in-state rivals.
Nowitzki, who had been sidelined due to a knee operation he underwent in October, was not expected to return until after Christmas.
Shortly before the game, the news broke on Twitter that the Mavericks’ legend would be returning to the court.
@swish41 in the warm up line for the first time this season. Going to give it a go TONIGHT!!!
— Dallas Mavs Stats (@mavstats) December 23, 2012
Coming off the bench, Nowitzki played 20 minutes, scoring 8 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.
Unfortunately for Dallas, Nowitzki’s return wasn’t anywhere near enough to challenge San Antonio. The Spurs unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers, setting a new franchise record by going 20-30 from downtown. Danny Green’s career high 25 points led the way, as the Spurs dismantled the Mavericks 129-91.
Even though he isn’t at full strength, it’s nice to have Nowitzki back on the court. Sure, his fade-away jumper may be frustrating when your team plays against him, but the sharp-shooting big man is a joy to watch.