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3 things from Dirk passing Shaq and beating the Nets 119-118

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Plus, J.J. Barea in the starting lineup turns out to work flawlessly.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On a historic night for Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks' play was anything but. Coming off a performance Rick Carlisle called "embarrassing" the night before against Toronto, Dallas only barely managed to sneak out a 119-118 win in overtime against the Brooklyn Nets, with Dirk Nowitzki nailing the game-winning shot.

Dallas opened the game responding well to their head coach's message, led by Barea, who scored 20 in the first half and finished with 32. But the good times didn't last. Brooklyn roared back, even opening up an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter before Dallas cut back into it. An offensive rebound off a missed Nets free throw that directly turned into a Joe Johnson triple looked like it might doom Dallas, but they came right back, tying the game at 105 before Barea waltzed into the lane and nailed an and-one floater for a 108-105 Mavericks edge.

But no, it wasn't over. Not when Thaddeus Young decided now was a good time to nail his second 3-pointer of the season on a crazy stepback attempt. Attempted Barea hero ball ended as poorly as you might think, despite his good game to that point.

A wild overtime featuring many made long balls finally went back Dallas' way when Dirk scored on a gorgeous drop step post move. It was fitting, really, that he'd be the one to finish it out, only needing a final Jarrett Jack miss to clinch it. Certainly the win didn't need to be this difficult, but as I've said all season, Dallas can't complain about their wins no matter how they come.

Dirk Nowitzki, legend

Now only five people in this planet's history can say they have score more points in the NBA than Dirk Nowitzki. With a flurry of first half scoring and then a left wing jumper, Dirk went past Shaquille O'Neal to become the league's sixth all-time scorer, just a marvelous accomplishment for one of the very greatest to ever step on the court.

There's no quantifying his impact in Dallas, helping turn a sad basketball franchise into one that is now a model of excellence not just in the NBA, but sports in general. He led the Mavericks to the promised land in 2011. He's been, in my books, the greatest athlete DFW has ever seen. And now he has scored the sixth most points in league history. There's just no words.

J.J. Barea's renaissance

Look, I mean, I'm not going to take back anything I've said about Barea this year. He objectively has been bad for most of the year. He ~was~ good last year, something I've talked about several times this season, despite a perchance for killing possessions with a million dribbles. The offense played better with his presence on the court, something an entire year's worth of data reflected. But his impact this year just hasn't echoed what he did last season ... until Wednesday. Against the Nets, Barea coaxed his jumper into something that more resembled an inferno. He had a big stepback jumper to end the third quarter and push some needed momentum back towards Dallas. Without Deron Williams, who missed the Brooklyn reunion due to a hamstring injury, Dallas needed Barea's shotmaking in a major way. Finishing the game as a plus-16, tied for the best along with Dirk, is exactly what the doctor ordered for the struggling backup guard.

Hopefully, this is a changing of the tides for Barea, but even if it isn't, don't expect to see him go anywhere. Dallas needs his ball handling and penetration. He won't always be playing 41 minutes like he did tonight, but the role the Mavericks need him to fill won't fit anyone else on the roster any better.

Deron Williams was missed

The offense put up a good number of points and was typically efficient, not turning the ball over a single time in the fourth quarter, but there were moments were possessions wasted away with no real purpose and ended in a mediocre shot attempt. This was incredibly prevalent as the Nets climbed back into the game and built a lead in the third quarter, and no matter what substitutions Rick made, the offense just couldn't quite figure things out.

Moments like those is where Deron Williams really has been good this season, and any extended absence from him will hurt, especially on a night where Barea isn't scoring 32 points. (So, every night.) Williams is more limited than he's ever been in his career, but those steadying moments have been crucial to Dallas thus far this year and they need him doing that going forwards.