TV: NBA TV
- Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki makes his 2012-13 Dallas debut tonight. After missing the first 27 games of the season while recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee, the perennial All-Star averaged 8.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 23.5 minutes in road losses at San Antonio and Oklahoma City. He didn’t start either game and head coach Rick Carlisle said he will come off the bench again tonight. “The bigger issue is bringing Dirk along at the right pace so that physically, his legs and knees are getting where they need to be. Everything at this point says that they are,” he said.
- O.J. Mayo, the Mavericks’ leading scorer this season in Nowitzki’s absence at 18.8 points per game, has struggled during their current four-game losing streak. He is just 10-for-40 from the field with 18 turnovers and 29 points during that stretch. Carlisle said he watched the film from last night’s loss to the Thunder with Mayo on the plane ride home. “A lot of it is about keeping it simple. We had some spacing snafus toward the end which contributed to a couple of his turnovers. It’s correctable stuff and we’ve just got to keep working on it,” Carlisle said.
- The Nuggets have won six of the last nine meetings in Dallas. Denver sixth man Corey Brewer played in 13 regular-season games for the Mavericks in 2010-11 and was a member of the 2011 NBA championship team. His name is on the banner that hangs from the American Airlines Center rafters.
- The Mavericks are playing the second game of a back-to-back, falling in overtime last night in Oklahoma City. So far this season, Dallas is 2-5 in the second games in those situations.
– Dave Ivey