Dirk Nowitzki will sit Saturday night

DALLAS – Rick Carlisle had a decent explanation for playing Dirk Nowitzki down the stretch of Thursday’s preseason game.

The plan was to get Nowitki a normal night’s work before he takes Saturday night off when the Mavs play the Suns outdoors in Indian Wells, Calif.

“And we wanted to win the game,” Carlisle said.

The Mavs accomplished that mission with an 88-83 win over the Bulls, thanks in large part to Nowitzki’s 30 points and 10 rebounds.

Nowitzki definitely doesn’t mind getting the weekend off. He figures his jump-shooting game isn’t suited to playing outdoors anyway.

“If it’s a windy night, I might as well stay home,” he joked. “So I think that’s a good one to pass.”