- Dallas star passes Wilt Chamberlain on all-time scorers list
- Curry hits 61-foot shot in first-quarter during loss to Spurs
Dirk Nowitzki passed Wilt Chamberlain for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, but Elfrid Payton had his fifth straight triple-double to help New Orleans beat Dallas 129-125 in overtime on Monday night.
Nowitzki moved past Chamberlain on one of his signature long-range jumpers with 8:35 remaining in the first quarter. The 40-year-old German took a feed from Doncic and backed down Kenrich Williams before turning and launching from the top of the key. Entering the game needing four points to pass Chamberlain, Nowitzki started for the ninth time this season. He made his first two shots to end the suspense with a sellout crowd on its feet. Nowitzki finished with eight points, giving him 31,424 in his 21 seasons trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
Dallas rookie Luka Doncic had a triple-double of his own with 29 points, 13 boards and 10 assists. “He deserves everything good that happens to him,” Doncic said. “It’s amazing the things he has accomplished, but this one is really amazing for him.”
Elsewhere, the Golden State Warriors lost to the San Antonio Spurs 111-105 but the night stood out for a three-quarters court shot by Stephen Curry at the end of the first quarter. The 61-foot shot was the longest of the NBA season.
“I might be delusional, but every time I shoot it, I feel like it’s going in,” Curry said after game. “You kind of know right away whether it has a chance or not. Some of them are in and out, it’s close, whatever. That one felt great, I was running after [it]. A cool way to end the quarter, I just wish we had gotten the win, too.”
Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2012-13 Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 13 rebounds as Denver rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Boston Celtics 114-105.
Both teams came into the night trying to improve their playoff position. The Nuggets tipped off their four-game road trip just a game behind Western Conference-leading Golden State in the standings. The Celtics came in fifth in the East, a game back of fourth-place Indiana and two behind Philadelphia, whom they visit on Wednesday.