POSTED: Jan 5, 2013 10:48 PM ET
DALLAS (AP) — 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.