Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant said the fan reaction helped him "a lot" on his return from an eight-game ban.
Morant, 23, was suspended without pay by the NBA after a video showed him holding a gun in a Colorado nightclub.
He returned off the bench in a 130-125 win against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday as the Grizzlies secured the Southwest Division title.
"It felt good to be back, super excited. Glad we were able to get the win," said Morant.
He had been available to face the Dallas Mavericks on Monday but sat the game out.
Morant played 24 minutes against the Rockets and finished with 17 points, four rebounds and five assists.
"Once I got out there on the court and saw the fans' reaction to me being back, it definitely helped me a lot. Made me feel good inside," he added.
Elsewhere, Luka Doncic recorded 30-plus points for the 41st time this season - the most in a NBA campaign for the Dallas Mavericks - but could not stop them losing 127-125 to the Golden State Warriors.
Doncic was making his return after a five-game absence because of a thigh injury and registered a game-high 30 points and 17 assists while managing a team-high seven rebounds.
Stephen Curry finished with 20 points and a team-high 13 assists for the Warriors, who are sixth in the Western Conference and three places above the Mavericks.