DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki has endured some tough battles with Kevin Garnett throughout the years. Particularly when Garnett played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
On Monday night against Denver, Nowitzki was able to get one-up on Garnett in one of the NBA's biggest battles.
With 18 points during Monday's 110-96 loss to the Nuggets, Nowitzki soared by Garnett and into 14th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Afterwards, he showed his respect for the man they call KG.
"We had some great times competing against each other,'' said Nowitzki, who missed a free throw Monday after hitting 35 in a row. "I feel like obviously he's the best of the power forwards.
"If you look at Tim Duncan being a center most of his career, then KG was the norm for everybody. Especially when I first got in the league (in 1998), defensively, he was a one-man show, he was unbelievable, he was a great rebounder, (and) a great passer for a big man.''
Nowitzki only needed 10 points to pass Garnett, and he got that with a free throw with 3:03 remaining before halftime. The 11-time All-Star now has 25,361 career points to 25,352 for Garnett, who could conceivably pass Nowitzki tonight when his Brooklyn Nets play at Toronto on Tuesday night.
"He's a full package for a big guy and all power forwards that came in,'' Nowitzki said of Garnett. "I had to look up to him.
"It's another great honor for me, but we're going to keep going back-n-forth. Obviously we're both still active, but it's nice to be up there with a guy that's been around so long and has been effective for so long.''
-- Dwain Price
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