Dirk's Half Century

Two days earlier, the Suns had waxed the the Mavericks 106-86 to even their Western Conference Finals series at 2-2. Enter Dirk Nowitzki to rescue the Dallas Mavericks.

Nowitzki poured in a franchise playoff-record 50 points in Game 5, outscoring the Suns by himself in the fourth quarter, 22-20.

The New York Times described Dirk's performance thusly:

"Another ingrained image was shattered Thursday night, if it still existed at all. Dirk Nowitzki, his superstar tag muddied by a soft reputation, crushed the Phoenix Suns, and whatever was left of that unflattering label."

Dirk's dominating performance was the springboard for the Mavs winning the series, 4-2, earning Dallas the right to play in The Finals for the first time.

Watch The Video Now: Dirk's Half Century

Dallas did not draft Dirk Nowitzki in 1997. The Milwaukee Bucks did at No. 9 and traded Nowtizki and No. 19 overall pick Pat Garrity for Robert "Tractor" Traylor.


Performance Score
Vince's Vindication 8.99
LeBron's Debut 8.76
Marion's Monster 8.64
Tim's Time 8.10
Prince of the Palace 7.84
Raja's Return 6.35