San Antonio Spurs 105-94 Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki hits 20 points before receiving standing ovation in his final NBA game

Dirk Nowitzki said goodbye to the NBA the same way he came into the league, smoothly draining a jumper over a defender to punctuate a passionate performance.

It was only fitting that Nowitzki’s final shot came against the San Antonio Spurs, a team he terrorized in the regular season and post-season. This time, however, the tears it stirred were tears of joy.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 34 points and 16 rebounds and the Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-94 Wednesday night in Nowitzki’s final game.

‘Everybody, players, fans, coaches and staff got to witness history watching him play his last game,’ San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. ‘He played a fine game, which was great. It’s not surprising.’

Nowitzki finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the finale of his storied 21-season career – all with the Mavericks. Nowitzki announced he was retiring Tuesday night following Dallas’ final home game of the season.

Wednesday’s sell-out crowd cheered wildly each time Nowitzki entered the game or touched the ball and let out a collective groan when he missed a shot. He was serenaded with chants of ‘MVP!’ throughout the game by the crowd filled with patrons wearing his No. 41 jersey.

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