Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki makes record-setting debut in Phoenix

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) AP

Dirk Nowitzki is back.

The Dallas Mavericks legend played for the first time this season Thursday night in Phoenix.

Nowitzki, who was active for the first time this season, entered the game in the first quarter after coach Rick Carlisle called a timeout.

Nowitzki made his first shot, a mid-range jumper off the glass.

Nowitzki’s season was delayed because of a longer than expected recovery from left ankle surgery in April.

It’s Nowitzki’s 21st season in the NBA, which is a record for seasons with the same team. He breaks Kobe Bryant’s record with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Nowitzki played six minutes in the first half, making 1 of 2 shots, including a missed 3-pointer. He had a rebound and one personal foul.

“It’s going to be amazing seeing him back on the court,” rookie Luka Doncic said.

Nowitzki scored two points in 16 minutes in his NBA debut on Feb. 5, 1999. Doncic was born 23 days later.

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