As I watched a masked LeBron James bull and ballet his way to 61 points last night, it yanked me to the Mavericks and their scoring history. Amazingly – given the franchise’s star-studded offensive history – no one’s come close to 61.
I covered the Mavs for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the mid-‘90s and, swear – saw it with my own eyes – Jamal Mashburn and Jim Jackson produced 50-point games just two weeks apart in November ’94. Mashburn at the Bulls and Jackson at the Nuggets, in a season that wound up 36-46.
The other two 50-point games in regular-season franchise history belong, not surprisingly, to Dirk Nowitzki. He poured in 51 against the Warriors in ’06 and 53 in an overtime game against the Rockets in ’04.
Of course, Dirk’s finest performance may have been the 50 he dropped on the Suns in Game 5 of the ‘06 Western Conference Finals.
None of those splendid individual performances approach LeBron’s 61. And, actually, the Mavs’ record-high game of 53 ranks them near the bottom third of the NBA’s high scorer per team. Only six teams – Clippers, Timberwolves, Raptors, Pelicans, Grizzlies, Bobcats – have a high game lower than 53. Of course at the other end of the spectrum were magical scoring nights by the Warriors (Wilt Chamblerlain, 100), Lakers (Kobe Bryant, 81), Nuggets (David Thompson, 73), Spurs (David Robinson, 71) and Bulls (Michael Jordan, 69).
At age 35, not sure if Dirk is capable of another 50. And after almost 3,000 franchise games, the Mavs have never sniffed 61.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.