Dirk Nowitzki's surge hits peak with 40-point game

Dirk Nowitzki still has a little something left.

The Dallas Mavericks forward scored 40 points in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers that kept the Dallas Mavericks tied for the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.

What’s significant about Nowitzki scoring 40? It was his first 40-point game since Jan. 11, 2014, against the New Orleans Pelicans, but it also made him one of only four players in NBA history to score 40 after turning 37.

The other three are Michael Jordan (eight times), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4) and Karl Malone (2), according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

Nowitzki did it with midrange jumpers. His 10 midrange baskets are the most he has made in a game in just over four years. He also made three 3-pointers, giving him 1,685 for his career, tied with ex-teammate Steve Nash for 15th all-time.

Nowitzki has cranked up his game of late. He has scored at least 20 points in eight straight games, his longest streak since a 16-game run in February and March of 2011.

Admittedly, Nowitzki did have a little help on Sunday. Deron Williams had the third 30-point, 15-assist game in the NBA this season (the other two were by Reggie Jackson and Brandon Knight). It was the first 30-15 game by a Mavericks player since Jason Kidd had one in 1995-96.