Dirk is first European to reach 20,000

Updated: January 14, 2010, 10:28 AM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki became the 34th player in NBA history -- and the first European -- to hit the 20,000-point milestone.

The Dallas Mavericks' perennial All-Star power forward passed the milestone at the 10:57 mark of the fourth quarter Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, the 876th game of Nowitzki's career. He hit a 14-foot baseline jumper off a pass from Jason Terry, giving him 17 points for the game and 20,001 in his career.

Lakers star Kobe Bryant is one of five other active players with at least 20,000 points. The others are Cleveland's Shaquille O'Neal, Philadelphia's Allen Iverson and Boston's Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

"He'll end up with 25,000 before he's done, for sure," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Nowitzki before the game. "That's my belief. This is just part of the history of a great career. It's not what he's about, though. He's about trying to win a title."

Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.