DENVER -- The reason Dirk Nowitzki is the 20th all-time scorer in NBA history is because he scores a lot of points. But Monday night against the Denver Nuggets, Nowitzki also showed off his passing skills.
Nowitzki did pour in 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting during the Mavs' 112-95 win over the Nuggets. However, he also grabbed 11 boards and dispensed six assists -- one shy of his season high of seven assists recorded Jan. 4 against the Phoenix Suns.
Nowitzki had to laugh when he was reminded that he picked up all six of his assists in the first half.
"And then zero for the other (two) quarters,'' Nowitzki said, while laughing. "But I think it's gotten better, definitely over the 14 years.
"I think that comes with a little bit with experience. But I think I'm better when I shoot it -- sometimes my passing decisions aren't the greatest.''
On Monday, Nowitzki's passing skills were right on the money as the Mavs captured their fourth straight victory.
"That's a testament to his willingness to win, and that's what it's all about right now -- him making the right play,'' guard Vince Carter said. "And we're making plays for him to make things easier for him and each other.''
Coach Rick Carlisle certainly likes it when Nowitzki is able to keep defenders honest by feeding an open teammate for a basket.
"I thought it was a good mixture of playing through (Nowitzki) when we threw the ball directly to him, and also finding him off of movement,'' Carlisle said. "If you just stand there and throw it into a guy too much, people are going to adjust to that and your game can slow down.''
Indeed, there was nothing slow about Nowitzki's game on Monday. His passing skills -- not to mention his shooting spree -- took care of that.
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter