Nowitzki's domination at Garden
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Nowitzki's career scoring average in Boston (27.7 points in 11 career games) is the fourth-highest all-time (minimum 10 games). The three names ahead of him don't even need first names: Jordan (32 points per game), Abdul-Jabbar (30.7) and Chamberlain (29.7). Needless to say, some lofty company.
Nowitzki may have produced his finest effort in Boston last season, erupting for 37 points on 14-of-22 shooting over 44 minutes in Dallas' 99-90 triumph. The Celtics have never held Nowitzki to less than 18 points in Boston (2002 and 2009) and six times he's finished with 30 points or more here.
What's more, Nowitzki, a career 47.5 percent shooter, is averaging 50.2 percent shooting in Boston (105 of 209 overall) over those 11 visits.
For the 2010-11 season, Nowitzki is averaging 23.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 39 appearances. The Mavericks are 31-8 when playing with him, but a mere 2-7 when he was out. Celtics coach Doc Rivers didn't hesitate to attach the MVP to his name.
“[The Mavericks] were in a slump because Nowitzki was out," said Rivers. "It’s as simple as that. When he’s healthy, they play well.
"You can make a strong argument for him as MVP -- him and [Chicago's] Derrick Rose are probably the two frontrunners, and [Miami's] LeBron [James]. [Nowitzki is] having a heck of a year."
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