LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki knocked down his first two jumpers during a Monday night matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans to pass Wilt Chamberlain for the No. 6 spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Nowitzki hit the milestone early in the first quarter, making a 20-footer with 8:35 remaining in front of a sellout crowd at Dallas that was mostly on its feet in anticipation of the moment.
“I felt good in warmups, made some shots,” Nowitzki said postgame on Fox Sports Southwest. “I was messing around with the guys and figured I’m going to get some good looks early. Obviously I didn’t know my first two were going to go in right away.
“The second one, I kind of faced up and said it’s now or never. Shot it up high, and it went in. It was fun. It was good to be out there, and the crowd was great.”
He entered the game needing four points to pass Chamberlain, who scored 31,419 career points and now has 31,424.
Nowitzki finished the game with eight points, all in the first half, in the Mavericks’ 129-125 overtime loss.
“It’s been building up the whole season, and I’m just glad it’s over with,” Nowitzki told Fox Sports.
Nowitzki, 40, has yet to make a decision on whether or not he will retire, but he has been enjoying an unofficial farewell tour throughout the season.
The 21-year veteran missed the first 26 games of the season while rehabbing. Nowitzki began play Monday averaging 6.0 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in 2018-19.
The top five NBA scorers are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), James (32,439) and Michael Jordan (32,292).