Dirk Nowitzki further solidified his Hall of Fame legacy on Tuesday night by becoming the seventh player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points. The Dallas Mavericks legend came into his team’s home game against the Los Angeles needing 20 points to achieve the feat and did so with just under 11 minutes remaining in the second quarter with one of his patented fadeaway jumpers.
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The Mavericks announced Dirk’s achievement and played a career highlight package on the video board roughly a minute later after a Lakers timeout. Naturally, L.A. called timeout because Nowitzki had bested them again with a contested three-pointer from the top of the circle.
Mark Cuban got pretty emotional about it all during the break, as well:
The achievement comes in Nowitzki’s 19th season and marks yet another milestone in the history of the best European–born player in NBA history. He is the league’s leading active scorer following Kobe Bryant’s retirement last season and should pass Julius Erving to move into sixth place on the all-time scoring list very soon. Nowitzki came into Tuesday’s game just 46 points behind Dr. J and should move ahead of him some time during Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets or Saturday’s game against the Phoenix Suns.
Frankly, Nowitzki hit the 30,000 mark faster than most expected on Tuesday. He scored 14 points in his first six-minute stretch of playing time before heading to the bench and finished the first quarter with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting. It was the most points Dirk had scored in a period since January 2014. For that matter, he had only scored more than 18 points seven times previously in the 2016-17 season.
It is entirely possible that this milestone will be the final major achievement of Nowitzki’s career. He is roughly 1400 points behind Wilt Chamberlain for No. 5 on the all-time scoring list and may opt to retire at the end of this season.
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