Dirk Nowitzki Returns From Injury, But Mavericks Lose Again

Dirk Nowitzki missed nine games with a knee sprain that had left the Dallas Mavericks superstar listed as day-to-day. He finally returned to the court Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies, but Dallas' losing streak stretched to five games as Memphis earned an 89-70 win.

The Mavericks were just 2-7 during Nowitzki's absence; even with Saturday's loss, the team is 24-6 when Dirk plays. He wasn't himself against the Grizzlies, scoring seven points on 2-7 shooting. Nowitzki's night didn't last too long; he was ejected early in the third quarter for arguing a foul call, and finished with just 14 minutes played. Dallas went on to suffer as it had during Nowitzki's absence, which is to say the team could not score.

The loss dropped the Mavericks to No. 5 in the West. The league-leading San Antonio Spurs may very well have run away from the Mavericks, who had been in a dog fight with the Texas rivals before Nowitzki's injury. Over that nine-game stretch without Dirk, Dallas lost more games than San Antonio has in 40 games this season. The Mavericks are now 7.5 games behind the Spurs, but just three games behind the L.A. Lakers for the No. 2 spot.

If there's a silver lining, the Mavericks have to date played the league's No. 2 most difficult schedule according to Basketball-Reference.com. The Lakers have played the league's easiest schedule.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.