Mavs Countdown: Dirk Scores ’39’ to Close out KG and the Wolves


Mavs Countdown: Relive Dirk’s ’39’ to complete sweep of Garnett, Wolves

Training camp kicks off in just a few weeks and preseason games get underway shortly after that but the real Mavericks basketball doesn’t begin for 39 days, October 28th against Tyson Chandler and the Phoenix Suns.

While we wait let’s look back at the time everybody’s favorite Maverick dropped 39 points against Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves to close out a 3-0 series sweep back in 2002.

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Things were going as you might expect for a Mavericks team in the early 2000s: 50 wins had been eclipsed, the second year of an 11-season run in that regard, and Dirk Nowitzki was getting buckets.

He averaged 23.4 points in 2001-02, a career-high at the time, and his name was beginning to be mentioned with the best young power forwards in the game.

One of those other names was Garnett, who at 25-years old was playing some of his best basketball. He averaged 21.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists for the 5th-seeded Timberwolves that season and made the fifth All-Star game of his seven-year career.

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But Garnett and the Wolves had no answer for the 23-year old Nowitzki in the best-of-5 series.

He dominated the first two games of the series, both Mavericks home wins, scoring 30 and then 31 while collecting 15 rebounds in both contests.

His best work came on the road in the series’ final game, however.

Dirk put any hope the Timberwolves had of extending the series to bed with a dominating, 39-point, 17-rebound performance. He was 11-17 from the floor, a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc, and 14-16 from the charity stripe in Dallas’ 115-102 win.

Check out the highlights. It’s always nice to relive the early days of Nowitzki’s career. People forget how quickly and fluidly he moved for a guy his size.

Dirk and the Mavericks were ousted by Chris Webber and the Sacramento Kings in round 2 but Nowitzki continued his strong play by averaging 25.4 points and 11.6 rebounds in the five game series. Raising his game come playoff time became the norm for Nowitzki, the way it is for all the true greats.

Next: Who is the West's Best Shooting Guard?

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