Posted by Ben Golliver
Dallas Mavericks All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki became the 23rd player in NBA history to score 23,000 career points during a Friday night game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Nowitzki finished with 11 points and the Mavericks went on to win the game, 102-76, at American Airlines Center.
Nowitzki entered the game with 22,997 points. He crossed the 23,000-point threshold with a second quarter free throw. It took 1,005 games for him to score 23,000 points.
"I’m trying to keep going and trying to help this team and franchise win as many games as I can," Nowitzki said, according to Mavs.com. "All the milestones are gonna be great when I look back on my career in 10-15 years."
The German forward is the third highest currently active scorer in the NBA, trailing only Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who ranks No. 6 on the all-time scoring list, and Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, who ranks No. 19.
Nowitzki is averaging 18.0 points per game on the season. If he continues to score at that clip and doesn't miss significant time due to injury, he will almost move into the NBA's top-20 all-time scorers by season's end. Robert Parish, Adrian Dantley and Elgin Baylor all finished their NBA careers with between 23,000 and 23,400 points. Nowitzki could also push past Charles Barkley, who retired with 23,757 points, this year.
Nowitzki, 33, is in his 14th NBA season. He has never won a scoring title; his high-scoring season was 2005-2006, when he averaged 26.6 points per game. He was named the 2011 NBA Finals MVP when the Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat. His other awards include: 2006-2007 NBA MVP, All-NBA first team four times and 10 All-Star selections. He is the Dallas Mavericks' all-time leader in points, rebounds, field goals, field goal attempts, games and minutes, according to HoopsManifesto.com.