Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki Captures Old Self In Brilliant Performance

By John Raffel
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that Dirk Nowitzki is ready to play his best basketball right now. Whether or not it’s enough to put the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA playoffs remains to be seen.

The Mavericks lost 103-99 Sunday to the Los Angeles Lakers in a game featuring teams fighting for their playoff lives. Kobe Bryant was magnificent with 38 points.

But Nowitzki’s 30-point performance wasn’t too shabby either. Both players were so impressive it was like you were watching the Western Conference finals in February.

It Nowitzki can keep playing like this and stay injury free, the Mavericks are going to be heard from in some capacity.

He was 11-of-19 for a season-high 30 points and brought in 13 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. It didn’t help that he was the only Dallas starter to score in double figures, although the Mavs bench produced two such scorers with Vince Carter at 15 points and Elton Brand at 14.

Dallas had its modest three-game win streak snapped, but barely. It could have easily been a Mavs victory.

Nowitzki obviously remains a key for the Mavs in their stretch drive for a playoff bid. He’s been healthy enough now to see action in 26 games and has started 20. He’s seeing 30.5 minutes of action which is down almost six minutes per game of action during his career. He’s still shooting OK at 43.5 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent from the line. At the foul-line, he’s an outstanding 81.2 percent. He’s averaging 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists per game. His 16 points a game is off from his 22.7 points per game carer average.

His last two games of 30 and 25 point totals indicated it’s the Nowitzki of old that is wearing a Maverick uniform.

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