Dirk Nowitzki reaches 25,000 career points

Dirk Nowitzki didn’t even wait to shower before shaving off his beard.

After becoming the 17th player in NBA history to score 25,000 career points, he was even happier the Dallas Mavericks got back to .500 for the first time since mid-December, allowing him to shave off the facial hair he and his teammates had vowed to leave untouched until they evened their record.

Shawn Marion had 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting, Nowitzki scored 19 and the Dallas Mavericks beat the New Orleans Hornets 107-89 on Sunday night.

Brandan Wright and Vince Carter added 16 points off the bench for Mavericks. They had lost by double digits in their three previous chances to even their record.

”It’s been too long,” the clean-shaven Nowitzki said. ”My wife stopped kissing me somewhere in February. It feels good to shave again.”

Nowitzki reached the 25,000-point mark with a midrange jumper over Hornets’ center Robin Lopez in the second quarter. Teammates said he reached for the razor almost as soon as he entered the locker room after the game.

– Reported by Guerry Smith of the Associated Press