Nowitzki makes 1st Mavs start since knee surgery

Dirk Nowitzki made his first start of the season for the Dallas

Mavericks on Saturday night.

There was a huge ovation when the 11-time All-star was

introduced before the home game against New Orleans.

Nowitzki missed the first 27 games this season recovering from

arthroscopic right knee surgery.

After making his season debut Dec. 23 at San Antonio, the 7-foot

forward made his first six appearances off the bench. He averaged

10 points and 4.3 rebounds in those games, and scored 19 points in

29 minutes at Miami on Wednesday night.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says it sure feels better to have

Nowitzki back on the floor.