The big story coming out of Dallas last night was Mavericks lifer Dirk Nowitzki officially announcing his retirement after an incredible 21 seasons. Nowitzki, 40, finished with a season-high 30 points on 11-of-31 shooting in the 120-109 win over the Phoenix Suns – but he wasn’t the only vet doing work at the American Airlines Center.
39-year old Jamal Crawford poured in a game-high 51 points on 18-30 shooting, including 7-13 from behind the arc, as he became the oldest player in NBA history to rack up 50 points in a single game. Crawford’s epic performance tops the 51 points Michael Jordan scored against the Charlotte Hornets as a member of the Washington Wizards when he was 38.
In addition the 51-point point effort, Crawford also chipped in five assists and five rebounds with a steal and a block to boot.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Crawford also became the first player to post 50-point games for four different franchises.
The Suns finished tied for the second-worst record in the league this season at 19-63, but that won’t to deter Crawford from returning for a 20th NBA season. The 39-year old vet recently told Gina Mizell of The Athletic:
“Oh, no. That’s the part I hate—the perception because of how things went this year. You may look at the numbers and (see) I’m only taking six shots a game. I think it’s to be applauded (for me to) say, ‘Hey, when I go in, I’m not going to jack up every shot.’
“This is the most assists I’ve averaged (since 2008-09). I’m truly trying to see others grow. I think we should look at that part of it. I’m passing more than I ever have.”