Nowitzki moved past Jerry West into the 16th spot with a 3-pointer from the left wing with 59.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter of Tuesday's 105-95 win over the Washington Wizards. West scored 25,192 points during his Hall of Fame career, all 14 seasons of which he spent with the Los Angeles Lakers.
"It's nice, obviously a great accomplishment," said Nowitzki, who finished the game with 19 points, giving him 25,197 in his career. " 'The Logo' says it all and sums it up. It's another great milestone, but for now, I'll keep working and that's really about it. Like I always say, all these milestones are great once my career is over."
Nowitzki, 35, a 16-year veteran who has spent his entire career with the Mavs, should soon pass Reggie Miller as the 15th leading scorer in NBA history. Miller had 25,279 career points.
It's possible that Nowitzki would end the season among the top 10 scorers of all-time. Oscar Robertson ranks 10th with 26,710 points.
"It's a monumental achievement to pass a player like that," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's going to pass more big names in the weeks and months to come. This has been a fantastic career that Dirk has had. We're going to do everything possible to extend it as long as possible."