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Nowitzki scores 30, confirms pending retirement

Nowitzki scores 30, confirms pending retirement

The 40-year-old German had left the door open to extending his career for another season, but finally confirmed his retirement after the Mavericks' 120-109 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. It's the longest drought of Nowitzki's career. "Tonight for me, of course, was the big night".

Ray Spalding poked the ball away from Dirk Nowitzki and had a clear path to the opposite basket.

Charles Barkley was in attendance and also paid tribute to Nowitzki, calling him "the nicest man ever". "I promise you a job for life".

Before the game, an extraordinary scene unfolded at the arena, as scores of Mavericks employees lined a parking garage to cheer the arrival of Nowitzki.




The 14-time All-Star took the first eight Dallas shots and scored his team's first 10 points in the first three minutes. Nowitzki said he gave nearly all he had in the final home game but wanted to put up a few more jumpers against probably the biggest rival of his career.

It wasn't just the Mavericks who acted as if it were Nowitzki's final go-round. "I just think he's so competitive and he loves the game so much that he's going to come back". Earlier this season, Sports Illustrated's Jake Fischer explored how hard it was for Nowitzki to prepare for games as a 40-year-old. "I want to see how my body feels the last couple of weeks".

"It will never be the same around here", said Rick Carlisle, who coached Nowitzki for his final 11 seasons. "The first thing people say is 'What's this guy like, what's this guy like?' Cause all of these guys are great players".

He put in seven 3-pointers in posting a season-high 51 points - one off his career best - with 26 coming in the fourth quarter, to get the Suns as close as 105-100 with 4:20 to play.

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