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Dirk Nowitzki is averaging 29.6 points a game, a total to be reckoned with by any estimation. He’s easily one of the best offensive players in the NBA. However, what he accomplished last night turns the description “one of best” into “downright scariest.” When the fourth quarter of Dallas’ game against Utah started last night, the Mavericks trailed by 16 points. While deficits like that are commonplace in the NBA, the way in which the Mavericks came back is not. Sure, Dallas rode their best player, but I doubt even they figured Nowitzki would be as effective as he was. Let’s put it this way, during their fourth quarter comeback, Dirk Diggler matched his season scoring average by dropping 29 points.

In one quarter.

The flop-haired German with the exquisite outside shot finished with 40 points, but it was his sterling fourth quarter that’s getting headlines, and rightfully so. 29 points in one quarter is more than a number of teams can muster as a whole. To wit, the Jazz, as a team, scored 18 in the fourth against Dallas last night.

In fact, a quick glance at last night’s scores reveal only one team, besides Dallas, that is, outscored Nowitzki in the fourth quarter and that was the Boston Celtics with 36. The rest of the NBA could only match, if not score less, than Dirk’s final stanza explosion. StatSheet.com has a nifty little chart showing just how effective Nowitzki was last night. His contribution is designated by the pinkish-flesh colored bar:

Yeah, I think it’s safe to say Dirk’s contributions were instrumental in helping the Mavericks overcome the Jazz.