Coming into the game against the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki only needed 14 points to eclipse 26,000 for his career. This is a milestone that only 12 other players in NBA history have reached.
Nowitzki not only reached this mark, but he blew past it as well. Nowitzki finished with a game-high 38 points in the 117-115 loss to the Rockets. It’s no wonder they lost, though. Nowitzki was the only Mavericks’ starter in double-digit scoring. As a matter of fact, the other starters only scored 22 points combined for Dallas.
Nowitzki also grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds for Dallas. He was the only Maverick with double-figure rebounding as well. Despite all the problems Dallas had, they still found themselves with a chance to win the game in the end. Jose Calderon missed a couple of three pointers in the final seconds.
Despite the loss, Nowitzki was able to do something only a handful of players have done. At his current place, Nowitzki should pass John Havlicek for 12th on the all-time scoring list sometime in March. Before the season ends, there is a possibility he passes Dominique Wilkins and Oscar Robertson for 11th and 10th place, respectively.
As Nowitzki continues to move up the scoring list, the questions will continue to arise surrounding his place in NBA history. Fans of the Mavericks and those in the DFW area know what Nowitzki brings to the table each and every night. The problem has always been the perception he receives across the league concerning being soft and not playing defense.
Either way, Nowitzki is a first-ballot Hall of Hamer, guaranteed.