Dallas Mavericks stalwart Dirk Nowitzki broke Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s record for most seasons (21) spent with a single team by making his 2018-19 debut last month against the Phoenix Suns.
But with an opportunity to overtake Bryant in the record books yet again, Nowitzki came up short in the Mavs’ 114-93 loss to the Boston Celtics. He entered the night having scored 426 career points at the TD Garden, two shy of passing Bryant for most by a Western Conference opponent.
In what presumably was his 18th and final game in Boston, Nowitzki went 0-for-10, including missing eight 3-pointers, in 16 minutes. It was a second scoreless game of the season and ninth in Nowitzki’s career.
Celtics fans attempted to do their part to aid the future Hall of Famer by enthusiastically cheering each shot attempt. On the court, Boston’s defense grew lax in the waning minutes as the game was already in hand.
Nowitzki was appreciative of the warm treatment and letdown he failed to deliver what fans pined for, via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps:
“Yeah, I mean super sweet, super emotional,” Nowitzki said. “It’s sweet when not only your home fans, but the fans on the road, that appreciate what you’ve done in the last two decades. I appreciate the fans of Boston and, unfortunately, really disappointed I couldn’t even make one.
“Just real disappointing, but definitely will never forget the reception and, obviously, at the end how they wanted me to break the record. I really appreciate it.”
The Lakers have yet to see Nowitzki in either of their two wins over the Mavericks this season. That could change on Monday, particularly if Nowitzki is held out of Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s scored 1,435 career points against the Lakers.
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