Advertisement

Dirk Nowitzki hits 30,000 points, leads Dallas Mavericks past Los Angeles Lakers

By
Art Garcia, The Sports Xchange
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki of Germany stands on the court before the NBA basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on January 3 2017. EPA/LARRY W. SMITH
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki of Germany stands on the court before the NBA basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on January 3 2017. EPA/LARRY W. SMITH

March 8 (UPI) -- DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki came out firing and didn't let up until joining another exclusive club.

The greatest player in Dallas Mavericks franchise history reached the 30,000-point milestone in rousing fashion, showing off the range of shots that have defined his Hall of Fame career.

Advertisement

Nowitzki scored a team-high 25 points -- he needed 20 coming in for 30K -- to lead the Mavericks to a 122-111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.

Dallas (27-36) has won three straight and five of six. The Mavericks are within nine games of .500 for the first time since being 2-11 on Nov. 21. They have gone 16-9 since mid-January to climb back into playoff contention.

RELATED Watch: Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls rent out a Waffle House

The sixth-leading scorer in NBA history hit the magical number on his signature one-legged, step-back jumper on the baseline early in the second quarter. In the midst of an arena-wide celebration, Nowitzki hit a long 3-pointer on the next trip down the court before the game was stopped.

A video tribute followed as Nowitzki was mobbed by his teammates, coaches and owner Mark Cuban. Nowitzki came out to center court to acknowledge the cheers and wave thanks to the fans.

The Mavs were prepared for the moment, with commemorative t-shirts passed out to everyone in attendance, even if coach Rick Carlisle shied away from the topic.

RELATED Adrian Peterson: Seattle Seahawks or Oakland Raiders in play for All-Pro

"This has been like a slow-moving, gathering weather front," Carlisle said before the game. "My belief is that there's such a high level of respect for him and the milestone that to talk about it is probably not appropriate. It's more appropriate to stay within the process and keep going."

Nowitzki got going in a hurry. He scored Dallas' first eight points, hitting two quick 3-pointers. He made his first six shots from the floor and scored 18 points in the first quarter as the Mavs began to pull away.

The lead hit 21 in the second quarter and Dallas took a 70-52 lead into the break. Nowitzki had 25 points at halftime, one shy of a season high. He didn't score in the second half and didn't need to with the lead reaching 31.

RELATED New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys interested in DeSean Jackson

Seven Mavericks scored in double figures, including all five starters. Seth Curry knocked down four 3-pointers and scored 18 points. Yogi Ferrell had 16 points and seven assists. Wesley Matthews scored 15 points on five 3-pointers and Harrison Barnes added 14 points. Nerlens Noel had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.

The Mavericks also continued their mastery of the Lakers, running their winning streak to 14 and sweeping another season series. Los Angeles (19-45) has lost eight in a row, tying a season high.

Backup point guard Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell each scored 22 points for the Lakers. Nick Young, Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram scored 13 each.

The Lakers finish a two-game road trip Thursday at Phoenix.

Dallas looks to go to 4-0 on its five-game homestand Friday against Brooklyn.

NOTES: The other five players with at least 30,000 points are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419). ... F Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 points in the first quarter, his most in a quarter since netting 20 against New Orleans on Jan. 11, 2014. ... The Lakers officially announced the hiring of former player agent Rob Pelinka as general manager. ... Dallas PG J.J. Barea (calf) hoped to play but was ruled out before the game.

Latest Headlines