On Tuesday night, 38-year-old Dirk Nowitzki entered a regular season against the Los Angeles Lakers needing only 20 points to become the first foreign player to score 30,000 points in the NBA.
At the end of the first quarter, the versatile German already had 18 points, leading his team to a 38-29 lead. Then, early in the second quarter, Nowitzki made history, as he became only the sixth player in NBA history to reach the 30,000-point mark.
The German joins a list that only includes the NBA elite of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. Notably, four of the six players to reach the legendary mark wore the Lakers' colors for at least a portion of their careers.
Fueled by Nowitzki's fast start, the Dallas Mavericks comfortably beat the Lakers 122-111, though that score line is a bit generous. The Mavericks pulled away early by scoring 70 points in the first half, which was a bad sign for the visitors considering Dallas is the only team in the NBA that does not average 100 points per game.
Nowitzki led all scorers with 25 points on the night, as Dallas got all five starters scoring into double figures.
For the Lakers, Jordan Clarkson led the bench unit with 22 points, and D'Angelo Russell dropped in 22 points to lead the starters. Julius Randle finished with 13 points, 10 assists and 18 rebounds in 35 minutes to record one of the quietest triple-doubles in recent memory.
The Lakers will look to snap their eight-game losing streak on Thursday in Phoenix, a game that has major implications for the bottom of the Western Conference. The Suns and the Lakers are the two worst teams in the conference and are in competition for the second worst record in the NBA.
With the win, the Mavericks improved to 27-36, while the Lakers dropped to 19-45.