NBA legends Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant were slated to face-off against each other for the umpteenth time in their careers on Tuesday night, but a sore right shoulder shelved Bryant, who watched Nowitzki bury his Lakers with a cold-blooded game-winner from the sidelines.
Nowitzki, who netted 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting for the Mavericks, made them when it counted, including a sweet swish from the baseline over Julius Randle and (kind of) Jordan Clarkson with 02.1 seconds left. The Lakers’ rebuttal was a top of the key three-point fling from Randle that missed, and the Mavericks walked out of Staples Center with a narrow 92-90 victory.
What I love the most is Bryant and Nowitzki both showing each other respect, Kobe with the slap on the rear as if to say “I know your work,” and Nowitzki pounding Bryant on the chest offering “One more for old times sake.” In a perfect world, Bryant would’ve been in the floor and in a position to respond to Dirk’s late game heroics. Unfortunately that is not feasible for Bryant in his current state of health. All we can cling on to is memories. Thank goodness Nowitzki provided us with another one on Tuesday.