Photo: Tony Gutierrez/AP

Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki came into tonight’s game against the Lakers just 20 points short of 30,000 career points. Only five other players have ever scored 30,000 (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Wilt Chamberlain), and Dirk went and joined them as soon as he possibly could.

The Big German dropped 18 points in the first quarter, which ties for the highest scoring first quarter of his career, and he nailed a 15-footer to get to 30K one minute into the second quarter. Dirk came out swinging from the jump and got to 13 within five minutes.

He notched his 29,999th and 30,000th points with—what else?—his signature jagged fadeaway:

Dirk followed that jumper up with a three to bring his career point total to a nice palindromic total before a Lakers timeout. Mark Cuban and everyone mobbed him in congratulations. He finished the half with 25.

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The commish even weighed in and congratulated Dirk.

Nowitzki only got to 20,000 in 2010, after 11 NBA seasons. His coach Rick Carlisle told ESPN at the time that he projected Dirk could hit 25,000 before he called it a career. He got there in three years. Nowitzki was an all-star two seasons ago at 36, arguably should have been an all-star last year at 37, and is only noticeably slowing down this season. Hell, he scored 40 less than a year ago, and this current Mavericks team is bad and they’re still in the playoff hunt. Here are some Dirk Nowitzki facts.

That 2011 title with the Mavericks was one of the coolest championships I’ve seen in any sport, and whenever he hangs up his shoes, he’ll close one of the best careers in NBA history.