DALLAS – The defensive principles all looked perfect, as Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. appeared determined in every way imaginable not to allow his opponent to score on him.
Nance planted both of his feet and kept his balance. He placed his left hand lightly behind his opponent’s back to keep him in check. Once his opponent established triple-threat position, Nance moved closer to give him little room to operate. But like most of his defenders that have tried to use the same tactics, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki showed once again how very few times do those strategies actually work.
In signature fashion, Nowitzki stepped back into the air, lifted his arc of his shot and sank the ball into the net. It only seemed fitting that Nowitzki scored his 30,000th career point in the same way he logged the 29,998 others. In the Lakers’ 122-111 loss to the Mavericks on Tuesday at American Airlines Center, Nowitzki became the sixth player in NBA history to reach the 30,000 points mark after posting a team-leading 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Nowitzki also became the first international member of an elite club occupied by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.
“I happened to be who he crossed the line on, but there’s a lot of other games between me and that last first point, I’m not worried about it,” Nance said. “I played solid defense. But Dirk is Dirk. There’s a reason he has 30,000 points. He’s a seven footer leaning back that can shoot. Good luck.”
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