Not on a night that Nowitzki was a nonfactor while the Golden State Warriors blew out the Mavericks.
Now is not the time for Nowitzki to think about his impressive historical feats. His focus is solely on the fight the Mavs have in front of them just to make the playoffs.
“I didn’t really have that in mind,” Nowitzki said, referring to his climb up the all-time scoring list. “We’re just trying to win and make the playoffs now. If [passing Havlicek] happens, it’s awesome, it’s amazing. He’s one of the all-time greats. We know that, but to me right now, it’s more about grinding every game.
“This was a tough one, so that’s really all that’s going through my mind. In the second half, I was trying to be a little bit more aggressive. I hit two shots right away, just trying to get it going and will us back in the game, but it didn’t really happen.”
It didn’t come close to happening.
Nowitzki finished the night with only 12 points, giving him 26,395 for his career but not nearly enough to give the Mavs a chance against Golden State. He had his second straight poor shooting night, following up his 3-of-14 outing in Sunday’s win over the Indiana Pacers by going 4-of-11 from the floor.
“Collectively, we weren’t moving the ball to Dirk well enough,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “When I say that, I mean players on the court and myself.”
Nowitzki gave credit to Golden State’s defense, but he was annoyed with himself for not being more aggressive. He was virtually invisible for most of the first half, which is especially strange given the game’s high stakes, with the Mavs needing a win to have any realistic hope of claiming the West’s sixth seed.
“I should have shot the ball more in the first half,” Nowitzki said. “I should have got the ball more in the first half. I was too passive. In a road game, I’ve got to establish myself early. I think I had like two shots [for most] of the first half and then I shot two more going into the half. I’ve just got to demand the ball a little more, especially on the road.”
That’s how Nowitzki became one of the best scorers in NBA history. And that’s what the Mavs need from the face of their franchise to get back in the playoffs.