Dirk Nowitzki Helps Mavericks Top Lakers, Cling To Playoff Spot
The Mavericks are in a constant battle for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, and with the help of Dirk Nowitzki in last night’s game, they are now in 7th place. What place will they end up with, if any?
Following closely behind are the Grizzlies and Suns, and the Mavericks are only a game and a half behind the Warriors as well. As the NBA season is coming to an end soon, several teams are battling to get to the top, and get the best seed possible.
Defeating the Lakers has been a fairly easy task over the course of the 2013-2014 season, and Dirk Nowitzki took advantage of their weaknesses with his 27 points and nine rebounds, giving the Mavs a 104-95 victory.
Despite their deficit at the end of the game, the Lakers led the Mavericks 54-52 at halftime. The Lakers have continued to lose all season due to injuries to both of their veterans, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, who are not set to return until next season.
Dirk Nowitzki on pressure: 'We only got five games left. One game at a time. Worst cliché ever, but you can’t look too far ahead."
— Eddie Sefko (@ESefko) April 5, 2014
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) April 5, 2014
Nowitzki’s impressive performance also helped him rise to 11th on the all-time scorers list of the NBA, passing Dominique Wilkins, who was known as “The Human Highlight Film.” He has 26,678 points for his career, and is averaging 21.7 points per game this season.
If Nowitzki stays healthy, he’s likely to move up to seventh on the list next season, passing Hakeem Olajuwon, Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone. This marks the 6th time that he has bumped someone down on the list during this season.
Speaking about passing Wilkins on the scoring list, Dirk Nowitzki said “It’s been a crazy ride. I used to be a big fan of Dominique. I watched all his dunk contests and the many ways he could score, sometimes missing his own shot and he’d be the person to dunk over two people. He was just so much fun to watch.”
The Mavericks have been one of the top teams for several years, but this year they are currently clinging to 7th place at the end of the season, and could be lucky to make the playoffs. The Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, and Rockets are still the only teams to clinch the playoffs, and claim the top four spots, respectively.
With only a handful of games left until the NBA playoffs start, Dirk Nowitzki’s Mavericks are on a 2-game winning streak, and may have what it takes to make the playoffs after all in an incredibly competitive year for the Western Conference.
Image via Wikimedia Commons