Chris Kaman sparks Mavs in Berlin

Updated: October 6, 2012, 8:59 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Center Chris Kaman, sidelined for the past week with a lower back sprain, started Saturday for the Mavericks and matched a team high with 14 points as Dallas kicked off its preseason in Germany, beating Alba Berlin 89-84.

Kaman, who left the Mavericks' first training camp practice last Saturday with the injury and had missed or been limited in practice throughout the week, went 7 for 9 from the field and pulled down six rebounds in 23 minutes.

Coach Rick Carlisle had said Kaman's injury was not considered serious. But durability has been a major concern with the 30-year-old Kaman, who signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Mavericks during the offseason.

Though he does not have a history of back problems, Kaman has missed significant time because of injuries in four of the past five seasons.

Kaman, whom Dirk Nowitzki has called "the best offensive center I've ever played with," made his lone All-Star appearance in 2009-10, the last time he stayed healthy through the duration of a season.

Darren Collison and Vince Carter also scored 14 points in the Mavericks' first of eight preseason games.

Nowitzki scored only eight points in his return to Germany, and the Mavs overcame 27 turnovers to pick up the preseason victory.

Deon Thompson scored 20 points to lead the eight-time German champions, who led 23-21 after the first quarter.

The Mavericks' next game on the NBA Europe Live tour is at 17-time Spanish champion FC Barcelona Rega on Tuesday. They return home to face Houston on Oct. 15 in Dallas.

Information from ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon was used in this report.

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