DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki finished up his 1,000th career game -- just the 31st active player and 98th overall to reach the milestone -- and said it felt like his 2,000th.
Despite scoring 20 points with six rebounds and a team-high seven assists in just under 35 minutes in Wednesday's 98-89 victory over the Phoenix Suns, Nowitzki talked about how he is slowly but surely rounding into shape. Three of his assists came quickly early in the fourth quarter to Jason Terry for 3-pointers during a run that blew the game open.
Point guard Jason Kidd, who played in his 1,274th career game, planted his tongue firmly in cheek and said had Nowitzki really focused out there he could have made the night extra memorable.
"If Dirk hadn't of been messing around," Kidd said, "he would have had a triple-double."
Kidd, then offered another friendly dig when he said that 1,000 career games is quite a run and that Dirk has now accomplished just about everything in the game of basketball except...
"Winning a gold medal," Kidd said, trying hard not to smile.
Kidd took care of that feat as member of the U.S. team in the 2008 Olympic games. It included a 106-57 romp over Nowitzki's Germany team.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle wasn't joking around when he spoke of Nowitzki reaching 1,000 games, a milestone some of the game's all-time greats never reached.
"It’s a tremendous achievement," Carlisle said. “And maybe moreso with him because of the durability he’s displayed over the years. He hasn’t missed a lot of games. For a guy who’s 7-1 and plays the style he does, there’s no one else who has been that durable. Karl Malone was, but he was more of an inside and bruising-type guy. Dirk gets beat up inside and outside. He’s had a remarkable career."