DALLAS – Dirk Nowitzki was frustrated by his poor shooting performance in Dallas’ previous game. That disappointment, plus a little help from an old friend, turned into another big performance by the veteran forward.
Nowitzki scored seven of his 32 points in overtime, leading the Mavericks to a 128-119 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.
Nowitzki also had 10 rebounds and six assists. In Dallas’ loss to Brooklyn on Sunday, he was 2-for-12 from the field in his worst shooting performance of the season.
“The last game was disappointing for me,” Nowitzki said. “I was just hesitating too much, so I had to go back to having fun out there and just being me.
“That was a heck of a game, and it was fun to be a part of.”
The 213-cm Nowitzki was 11-for-23 from the field and 8-for-8 at the line.
“His emotion and his attitude carried the team,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s a prideful guy. I think great players are great for a reason. They never let anything keep them down for long. He’s bounced back from every adversity he’s ever had in his career, so this is no surprise.”
Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 43 points. He has scored at least 25 in 36 consecutive games in the longest such streak since Michael Jordan’s 40-game run during the 1986-87 season.
Dallas had seven players score in double figures. Jose Calderon went 6-for-8 from 3-point range and finished with 22 points.
Nowitzki said he spent time on Tuesday with Holger Geschwinder, his longtime basketball mentor from his home country of Germany. He said they got in a little shooting work.
“I guess he was tired of watching my shooting percentage,” Nowitzki said. “It’s always good when he’s there.”
Cavaliers 102, Raptors 100
In Cleveland, Dion Waiters scored 24 points and Luol Deng added 19 as the Cavaliers prevented Toronto from getting closer to a playoff spot.
The Cavs blew a 21-point lead, but made just enough plays down the stretch to snap a five-game losing streak at home.
They did it without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who missed his fifth straight game with a strained biceps tendon.
Lakers 127, Knicks 96
In Los Angeles, Xavier Henry scored 22 points and Nick Young hit five 3-pointers while scoring 20 points as the Lakers dropped a franchise-record 51 points in the third quarter of their victory over New York.
Kent Bazemore scored 18 points as Los Angeles won consecutive games for the first time in more than three weeks with a phenomenal offensive effort against the Knicks, who have lost two straight after an eight-game winning streak.
Magic 95, Trail Blazers 85
In Orlando, Tobias Harris had 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Magic stopped a nine-game losing streak.