Nowitzki scored a game-high 21 points in a win over the Utah Jazz Tuesday night, which was enough to surpass the great Oscar Robertson and make it into the top 10 all-time scorer’s list. With 26,714 career points in 1,185 games, Nowitzki is just 232 points behind legendary center Hakeem Olajuwon to move up to ninth place. Ironically, that’s exactly how much he will need in order to become No. 1 on the list of the most points scored by an international player in NBA history.
The 35-year-old converted 81.8 percent (9-for-11) of his shots from the field as the Mavericks dominated the Jazz 95-83 in Utah. The basket that moved Nowitzki into the top 10 occurred on a mid-ranger jumper in the fourth quarter.
Needless to say, Nowitzki is very excited to be in a category that contains NBA greats such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. What he may not fully realize is that he absolutely deserves to be on the list. Nowitzki has been a dynamic and an efficient player who has single-handedly given the Mavericks far more success than they could have achieved without him. He will forever be known as one of the greats, regardless of how far he climbs up the scorer’s list.
As thrilled as Nowitzki is about achieving greatness, he might be more enthusiastic about Dallas being in contention for a playoff spot. The Mavericks currently sit in the seventh seed in the Western Conference with three games to play.