Another night, another astonishing career achievement for Dirk Nowitzki.
The Dallas Mavericks forward tied John Havlicek for 12th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list with his 12th and final point in Tuesday's 108-85 loss to the Golden State Warriors. He finished with 12 points (on 4-of-11 shooting), six rebounds, one assists and one steal.
Dirk Nowitzki has tied John Havlicek for 12th on the NBA's all-time scoring list— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 12, 2014
John "Hondo" Havlicek scored 26,395 total regular-season points during his 16-year career with the Boston Celtics. He was a 13-time All-Star and an eight-time champion who won the 1974 NBA Finals MVP award.
While Nowitzki can't match Havlicek for team championships, he too has a Finals MVP award (2011) to go with 12 All-Star Game appearances and a regular-season MVP (2006-07).
Nowitzki came into 2013-14 looking to get Dallas back into the postseason in a tough Western Conference after missing the playoffs last season after 12 straight appearances. Like his team, he has experienced a resurgent season after struggling in 2012-13. As Sports Illustrated's Rob Mahoney pointed out on Feb. 28, some facets of his game are actually getting better:
Dirk Nowitzki’s long history of offensive efficiency begins with his ability to protect the ball. Rarely is he careless with his handle or passes, while his footwork and shooting give him the ability to dodge offensive fouls. It’s an exceptional component in the game of an exceptional player, and one worth pointing out because Nowitzki is on pace to register the lowest turnover rate (an amazing 7 percent) of his career.
The 15-year veteran is already in rarefied air among all-time scorers. He already passed Hall of Famers Jerry West, Reggie Miller and Alex English earlier in the 2013-14 season. He also passed current player Kevin Garnett, who has been reduced to a part-time role with the Brooklyn Nets.
Through it all, Nowitzki has stayed humble. He paid his very sincere respects to West after passing him in November, per ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon.
"The Logo" says it all and sums it up," Nowitzki said. "It's another great milestone, but for now, I'll keep working and that's really about it. Like I always say, all these milestones are great once my career is over."
Of course, his career isn't over; heck, his season isn't over. The Mavericks are fighting for their playoff lives. Tuesday's loss dropped them into the eighth and final spot in the West, one game ahead of the Phoenix Suns.
Dirk Nowitzki still has his work cut out for him this year. Passing a handful of NBA legends will just have to be a bonus.
*All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.
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