Dirk Nowitzki puts in an all-time great NBA play-off performance, dropping 48 on the Oklahoma City Thunder as the Dallas Mavericks took Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

The 7 foot power forward hit 12 of his 15 field goal attempts and all 24 of his free throws – breaking the play-off record for free throws made without a miss, previously held by Boston's Paul Pierce with a 21-for-21 game in a 2003 first-round series against Indiana.

Following the Mavs' 121-112 victory, Nowitzki said: “I was really looking to shoot early and really was able to get my rhythm. I made the first couple of shots and that is always big for a shooter. After that I just kept attacking. My teammates were feeding me the ball and we got some matchups with smaller guys and were able to take advantage."

Nowitzki was helped by teammates Jason Terry, 24 points, and JJ Barea, 21 points.

For Oklahoma, back-to-back scoring champ Kevin Durant managed 40.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said: "He (Dirk) has been doing it for many years against a lot of great players. He had good rhythm. He got off to a good start. He was making shots and we were fouling his jump shots. That's too many fouls. We've got to do a better job of guarding him. We have to make some adjustments, and we will."

The two teams meet again in Dallas on Thursday (ESPN).



Image: NBAE / Getty

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