Dirk Nowitzki reached a milestone Monday, but his teammates failed to make it a celebratory evening, blowing a four-point lead in the final 19.1 seconds of regulation as the visiting New Orleans Pelicans pulled out a 129-125 overtime victory.
Nowitzki made his first two shots, both trademark jumpers, in the opening four minutes to surpass Wilt Chamberlain as the NBA’s sixth-leading all-time scorer.
Dallas native Julius Randle finished with a game-high 30 points for New Orleans, and Elfrid Payton recorded his fifth consecutive triple-double with 19 points (11 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime), 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
Pelicans star Anthony Davis scored 20 points in just 21 minutes. He produced 14 points in 15 minutes in the first half. He didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter until there was 5.1 seconds left.
Frank Jackson drilled consecutive baskets in the final minute of overtime to secure the seesaw battle for New Orleans.
Dallas, which led by 10 at halftime, then trailed by nine early in the fourth quarter, reclaimed the lead 101-94 with a 14-0 run. The Mavs made it 109-105 with 19.1 seconds left in regulation on two free throws by Luca Doncic.
Payton hit a 3-pointer followed by Mavs guard Tim Hardaway Jr. lobbing an errant inbounds pass that led to a Julius Randle dunk and a 110-109 Pelicans lead with 5.1 seconds to play.
Then Doncic, fouled by a falling Kenrich Williams with 1.9 seconds to go, failed to win it when he missed his first throw. He got the second one to tie the game. Randle had a good look on a baseline jumper for the win, but it banged off the side iron for overtime.
Nowitzki’s second 20-footer of the game with 8:35 to go in the first quarter pushed him ahead of Chamberlain’s 31,419 points. Nowitzki, in his 21st season all with Dallas, finished the game with eight points in 12 minutes to give the league’s highest-scoring European-born player 31,424 career points.
Doncic, despite the big missed free throw, notched his own triple-double with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Hardaway had 21 points but missed two big 3-point attempts on the same possession in overtime.