Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks are trying their hardest to fend off the Utah Jazz and secure the Western Conference’s 8th and final playoff spot, and Nowitzki registered a vintage performance in a key 132-120 overtime victory against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday afternoon.
The 37-year-old Nowitzki put up 40 points on an efficient 16-of-26 from the field (3-5 3PT FG), and also snagged down 8 rebounds and dished out 4 assists.
This scoring outburst from the 2007 MVP marks his first 40-point outing since Jan. 11, 2014 when he dropped a 40-piece on the New Orleans Pelicans. Nowitzki also became one of four players (Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Karl Malone being the others) to score 40 or more in a contest at the age of 37 or older.
Nowitzki has been taking some last second slurps from the fountain of youth, and he hopes the twilight of his career can be spent in the postseason with this motley crew of Mavericks. Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle has even experimented with playing Nowitzki at center, and Dirk has been doing whatever it takes to ensure his squad a postseason berth.
It’s refreshing to see an NBA legend in their elder years play as well as Dirk has this season, and it’s even more remarkable when you acknowledge how physically limited he is.
Nowitzki and the Mavs currently nurse a 2.5 game lead over the Jazz, and the two teams are due to clash on April 11th in Utah, which may prove to be a very vital game in the playoff hunt.