Dirk ditches the pad

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Dirk Nowitzki has no extra protection on his right elbow for the first time since his gruesome collision with Houston's Carl Landry.

That collision, which occurred on Dec. 18, resulted in a couple of Landry's teeth being embedded in Nowitzki's elbow. Both players missed one game.

Nowitzki wore a bulky pad for a couple of months before switching to a sleeve with a lighter pad in it. His elbow is bare for the Mavs' first game after the All-Star break.

Nowitzki landed a pretty good elbow in equipment manager Al Whitley's back on his way onto the court, but that was with his left arm.