Mavericks fans who came to American Airlines Center on Saturday night, or tuned in on their TVs, no doubt were disappointed they didn't get to see two main attractions.
Rookie sensation Luka Doncic didn't play, due to a right knee contusion. And Dirk Nowitzki wasn't quite able to score the 18 points he needed to pass Wilt Chamberlain for sixth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
What fans got was a consolation-prize 121-116 victory over Cleveland that ended the Mavericks' seven-game losing streak.
And they got the thrill of watching 40-year-old Nowitzki come alive with 10 fourth-quarter points, giving him 14 for the game and moving him to within three points of tying Chamberlain.
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On a night in which they played without leading scorer and assist man Doncic, the Mavericks had seven players score in double figures and, as a team, Dallas registered 32 assists and only five turnovers.
"We were in desperate need of a win," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "It's been a long time."
When Doncic's name appeared on the Mavericks' injury report early Saturday afternoon, fans became concerned that he was experiencing lingering effects of the knee "pop" he said he felt six days earlier against Houston.
No need for concern. The "pop" occurred in his left knee and actually turned out to be a mild strain that wasn't serious enough for him to miss any games. This right knee contusion isn't considered serious. Doncic was walking Saturday without a trace of a limp.
The reality is Doncic probably was overdue for a break. This was only the sixth game he has missed this season, and the first since he sat out back-to-back games on Feb. 22-23 with right ankle soreness, the first two games after All-Star weekend.
Nowitzki entered the season needing only 232 points to catch Chamberlain. The chase has been torturously slow, and Saturday night's first three quarters against Cleveland was more of the same.
But in the fourth quarter, Nowitzki transformed into icon Dirk.