Windless, the American who won every domestic honour with London Towers, was released during the summer. His crucial contribution in the closing minutes on Saturday maintained control for Derby after Watford had come back to trail only 64-61.
"It was great to play again but I'm not game fit yet, Windless said. "My legs weren't quite there and my timing was out, but I just needed to get into the flow again."
Watford's debutant, the American Phil Powe, showed enough scoring moves and rebounding instinct to suggest he will be a major asset.
But despite Powe, Watford were zapped by Bryan Balser. The England hopeful missed with five of his first six three-pointers, but never lost confidence and scored three in the fourth quarter as Derby regained the initiative.Reuse content