Dirk Nowitzki goes vintage for his first bucket of the season

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Dirk Nowitzki made history Thursday when he stepped onto the court against the Suns for his 21st season as a Maverick, setting the record for most seasons with a single team.

"It is good to be back", he said following the short outing.

Nowitzki's 21st year with the Mavs sets a record as no other National Basketball Association player has played that many seasons with the same team. It's going to be a process for me playing against National Basketball Association players, (especially) the speed of the game these days.

Nowitzki's recovery from ankle surgery last spring has been taking longer than expected.

Nowitzki came off the bench in the first quarter, and in six minutes made one shot before leaving the game. He breaks Kobe Bryant's record with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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"He's getting closer", coach Rick Carlisle said before the Mavs extended their home winning streak to 11 games with a 114-107 victory.

Nowitzki was named Most Valuable Player in the 2006-07 and is a 13-time All-Star and four-time first-team All-NBA selection. He was experiencing tendon soreness before the start of training camp in September, which forced him to push his timeline back.

Only Atlanta Hawks forward Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Robert Parish, Kevin Willis and Moses Malone have played 21 seasons, but all with multiple teams.

Nowitzki has thus far marveled at the play of the 19-year old, proclaiming him to be better than he was at the same age. It will take me probably a couple of games to get used to it, but we'll see how it goes. It was his only basket in his six minutes of play.

The Suns' Deandre Ayton (15.8 points per game) and the Mavericks' Luka Dončić (17.8) are the top two among rookies in scoring average.

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