Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki is now the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history, scoring four points in the first quarter of Monday’s game with the New Orleans Pelicans to pass one-time leader Wilt Chamberlain.
Nowitzki scored the decisive points on a trademark fade away jumper. After the historic field goal, the Mavericks played a tribute video during the next stoppage in play, and Nowitzki was applauded by the crowd at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Nowitzki trails No. 5 Michael Jordan by more than 800 points. LeBron James (32,439) is the only other active player in the top five.
NBA Career Scoring Leaders
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387
2. Karl Malone 36,928
3. Kobe Bryant 33,643
4. LeBron James 32,439
5. Michael Jordan 32,292
6. Dirk Nowitzki 31,424
7. Wilt Chamberlain 31,419
Overall, Nowitzki finished with eight points on 3-for-6 shooting in the Mavs 129-125 overtime loss to the Pelicans. He got his first basket off a 20-footer via an assist from Jalen Brunson. Then the 40-year-old German took a feed from Luka Doncic and backed down Kenrich Williams before turning and launching from the top of the key.
“I took my time and faced him up like I’ve done a million times and tried to shoot over him,” Nowitzki said. “It was good to get it over with in the first two shots.”
Dallas rookie Luka Doncic turned in a triple-double of his own with 29 points, 13 boards and 10 assists, including the pass that put Nowitzki higher up in the record book.