The Stat Line of the Night – 3/29/10 – Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki is a great shooter, scorer, and rebounder. He isn’t as well known for his passing, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t great at that too. Last night he excelled at all three in a must-win game with the Nuggets to hang onto the 2nd seed in the Western Conference.
Let’s talk about his sharpshooting first. He scored 34 points with 4-5 from 3-point range and 16-17 from the free throw line. He also had 10 rebounds to go with 10 assists. It was the second triple-double of his career, and although he has had many double-doubles, he took advantage of Denver’s strategy of double-teaming him to find the open man at every opportunity. Dirk helped the Mavs scorch the Nuggets 109-93, but he also had some help from his teammates. Marion scored 21 points and played lockdown defense on Melo, holding him to only 10 points.
Had Dallas lost, that would have put them in a statistical tie with Denver, Utah and Phoenix for the 2nd seed. With the win, they sit in 2nd alone by a half game. Dallas’s acquisition of Caron Butler and the meshing of their already existing lineup may be just enough to get them over the hump in the West. Although the Lakers are obviously a far superior team, Dirk can put up a “Stat Line of the Night” at any time, making the Mavs especially dangerous.