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Mavericks: Best moments from the rookie season of Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez /Allsport /

Opens season as a starter

The Mavericks’ first game of the lockout-shortened season took place on Feb. 5. They were in Seattle to face the SuperSonics. Michael Finley was back for the Mavs after being the team’s leading scorer in 1998. Shawn Bradley and A.C. Green also returned as starters.

The Mavericks started their two draft night additions in the remaining spots. Rookie Dirk Nowitzki was part of the starting five in his first NBA game. Steve Nash also had a full-time starting role for the first time in his career after two seasons as a backup point guard in Phoenix.

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It was a rough first night for Nowitzki. He had four assists in the opening quarter. Dirk also scored the first two points of his career by knocking down a pair of free throws, but it was an otherwise disappointing game. He failed to grab a rebound and missed all five of his field goal attempts. Nowitzki only played 16.3 minutes too. He was replaced by Cedric Ceballos in the third quarter and never returned.

The Mavericks went on to lose 92-86 in overtime after turning the ball over with four seconds remaining in regulation. Dirk likely remembers his first NBA game even if it was not a banner night for the legend.

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