Dirk Nowitzki is back in the lineup for Dallas on Friday night against the New Orleans Hornets.
Nowitzki left the Mavericks' game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday early in the second quarter because of a balky back. He scored only one point. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said then that Nowitzki had felt something in warm-ups and tried to play through it.
''He's ready to go,'' Carlisle says before the tipoff against the Hornets. ''He's doing great, from what I understand.''
Nowitzki, an 11-time All-Star, is averaging 19.1 points, his lowest total since his second year in the NBA in 1999-2000. The Mavericks sat him out four games earlier this season to rehab a sore right knee and improve his fitness.