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It took Nowitzki nearly 19 seasons to join the NBA's elite 30,000-point club which also includes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. If Nowitzki does that he would match Kobe Bryant, who set the record for playing 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.

National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver paid tribute to Nowitzki's achievement in a statement, hailing him as "a model player and terrific ambassador for our game".

The milestone comes in a down year for Nowitzki, whose points-per-game average is his lowest since his rookie campaign and whose Achilles injury put him out for more than 20 games earlier this season.

Dallas owner Mark Cuban and players around the league reacted to the historic night on their social media accounts. Not known for his blazing speed by any measure, Nowitzki needed more than 200 games more than the next-slowest player on the list (Kobe Bryant).

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"This latest accomplishment further establishes his legacy as one of the NBA's greatest players", Silver said in a statement. The Lakers dropped to 19-45.

"It's been sort of surreal-30,000 is incredible, a lot of points", Dirk said after notching 25 points and 11 rebounds in a 122-111 win.

In Phoenix, the Washington Wizards defeated the Suns 131-127 thanks to a top performance by John Wall with 25 points, four rebounds and 14 assists while for Phoenix, Eric Bledsoe's 30 points could not avert the loss. He is also the first non-American to reach the milestone.

"Twenty is a great number", Nowitzki said last week in an interview. So I kind of want to make the 20 fold.