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Last night, the Dallas Mavericks were in Brooklyn to take on the Nets and the fans got to see Dirk Nowitzki pass Shaquille O’Neal for the spot of the 6th best scorer in the history of the NBA. The historic bucket came with just over 2 minutes played in the second quarter when Dirk nailed a right-side jumper for the 28,597th point of his career. O’Neal had only 28,596 and at that moment, he slipped to #7 on the NBA all-time scoring list.
The next player on the list is Wilt Chamberlain, with 31,419 points and it is not very likely that Dirk will be able to challenge him as well. If we were to look at the combined NBA-ABA scorer’s list, meaning that points scored in the ABA before the 1976 merger, Dirk would be ranked 8th, as Julius “Dr.J” Erving and Moses Malone would slip in at numbers 6 and 7.
The game itself was one of the most exciting this season. Dirk scored 22 points in the game and he was not the leading scorer for the Mavs in this one. J.J. Barea had the game of his career, scoring 32 and dishing out 11 assists. On the Nets’ team, Thaddeus Young scored 29 and was helped by five more players who scored in double figures.
At the end of the first half, the Mavs seemed to have had this game clinched, leading by 11, 64-53. However, the Nets started playing much better in the second half and the game got very competitive. Barea put the Mavs up by three with only 12 seconds left in the game and then Young tied the game up with a three-pointer. The Mavs went to Barea again, but Young was there to block his last-second shot.
In overtime, the teams continued to trade blows and the Nets had the chance to win the game in the closing seconds. Jarrett Jack took a contested shot and missed. The Mavs went home with a 119-118 victory.
In other games of the night, the Celtics beat the Hornets 102-89; the Cavs beat the Knicks 91-84; the Kings beat the Pacers 108-106; the Magic beat the Rockets 104-101; the Wizards beat the Grizzlies 100-91; the Hawks beat the Pistons 107-100; the Bucks beat the Sixers 113-100; the Spurs beat the Timberwolves 108-83; the Pelicans beat the Blazers 115-89; the Nuggets beat the Suns 104-96; the Warriors beat the Jazz 103-85 and the OKC beat the Lakers 120-85.