Coach Rick Carlisle said the decision was based on the schedule, not recent right knee swelling that forced the 37-year-old Nowitzki to miss a game.
In his 18th season, Nowitzki is out for the second time in three games after sitting the second night of a back-to-back at Golden State on Wednesday. Dallas plays at Atlanta on Monday night.
Nowitzki said he woke up with knee swelling the day after a Jan. 18 home game against Boston and sat a night later against Minnesota.
The 7-foot German is leading the Mavericks in scoring at 17.5 points per game.