ATLANTA – Dirk Nowitzki said he never felt like he needed to sit out Wednesday’s game in Atlanta, even if it was the Dallas Mavericks’ fifth game in seven days and his 36-year old body could have used the rest.
"I felt fine,’’ Nowitzki said after the Mavs lost to the Hawks, 104-87. "I felt a lot better than I did in the month of December.
"I felt great, and it was worth a shot.’’
Unfortunately for Nowitzki, his game was way off as he tallied a season-low four points on 2-of-7 shots while playing 25 uneventful minutes. It was the second time in three games Nowitzki has scored less than 10 points in a game.
And those are the only times all season the 17-year veteran has been held under 10 points in a game.
During this past Sunday’s win over Charlotte, Nowitzki finished the game with just eight points.
Coach Rick Carlisle said he talked to head athletic trainer Casey Smith about not playing Nowitzki against the Hawks. But with center Tyson Chandler (left hip injury), Chandler Parsons (ankle) and Amar’e Stoudemire (rest) already out, the Mavs were thin along the front line.
"It would have been easy to sit Dirk, and he didn’t feel it was the right thing,’’ Carlisle said. "Dirk wanted to play.’’
The Mavs won’t play against until they host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. Nowitzki was just upset he failed to do much to help the situation against the Hawks.
"II think to steal this one I think we needed to shoot the ball better from the outside,’’ Nowitzki said. "Especially there in the second half to make it a game when they made their run.’’
The competitor in Nowitzki wouldn’t allow him to sit out a game when he knew the Mavs were already short-handed.
"We have two days off here, and so we decided to go with it,’’ Carlisle said. "We’re trying to win, too, and Dirk’s trying to win.
"Unless there’s an ailment there, everybody felt good about him playing.’’