Dirk Nowitzki possibly turned the corner on his return from a knee injury in his fifth game back in the Dallas Mavericks' lineup.

Nowitzki went 5-for-7 from the floor to score a season-high 11 points in 17 minutes.

"Today definitely was better," Nowitzki said. "I was shooting the ball well in warmups, I felt I had a little more spring than I had last week.

"At least I'm working in the right direction, so that's a good thing."

"I think the biggest thing today is it was good to see that we got Dirk going for a little bit," point guard Darren Collison said. "This team is going to be so much better and different once Dirk starts to roll.

"We've got the players around him and the personnel to do it, but it's going to take some time. ... In the meantime, I thought he played a solid game."

Nowitzki is pleased to be improving his conditioning.

"You can run all the lines you want, it's nothing like playing games," he said. "I thought when I'm running lines I'm doing well, but three or four minutes out there I'm gassed.

"I guess I just have to work up my stamina again and I'll be OK."