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Dirk Nowitzki passes Larry Bird

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki passed Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird to move into 25th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list Tuesday in the second quarter against the Orlando Magic.

Nowitzki, so often compared to Bird especially early in his career because of his looks and unstoppable jumper, entered Tuesday’s game with 21,781 career points, 10 shy of Bird’s total.

He recorded career point No. 21,792 on the opening possession of the fourth quartery, burying a 3-pointer, the shot he came into the league firing, but over the years has reduced from his repertoire. Nowitzki hit his first two shots and scored eight points in the first 7:13 of the game, but then went 17:05 without a point.

The German-born Nowitzki reached Bird's career total of 21,791 points slightly faster than the Celtics forward from French Lick. Bird retired after 13 seasons, while Nowitzki is playing in his 13th and is in the first season of a four-year, $80-million extension.