After entering the night needing 10 points to pass Shaq, the 37-year-old Nowitzki drained a jumper from the left wing over Andrea Bargnani in the second quarter for points 28,596 and 28,597. The 13-time All-Star bumps the gregarious, dominant center down to seventh.
Since being drafted ninth overall in 1998 and acquired by Dallas in a draft-day trade, Nowitzki’s scoring pace has been truly remarkable. His longevity has continued this season, as he entered the night leading the Mavericks with 17.3 points per game, shooting over 48% from the field and averaging seven rebounds. The Mavericks, entering the game at 15–13, are again competitive and continue to lean on the German big man, who helped lead them to the title in 2011.
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Nowitzki finished with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting and now has 28,609 points on his career. The Mavericks made a fourth-quarter run and went on to win 119–118 in overtime. J.J. Barea stepped up with 32 points and 11 assists in the place of injured point guard Deron Williams.
NBA’s all-time scoring leaders
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
2. Karl Malone
3. Kobe Bryant
4. Michael Jordan
5. Wilt Chamberlain
6. Dirk Nowitzki
7. Shaquille O’Neal
Next on the list for Nowitzki is Wilt Chamberlain with 31,419 points, a milestone he may retire before reaching. As it sits, he is far and away the highest-scoring foreign-born player to play in the NBA.
- Jeremy Woo