Dirk Nowitzki finally leads the Dallas Mavericks in scoring again. He has more work to do if he wants to make the playoffs for a 13th straight season.

The 7-foot German passed O.J. Mayo even before getting a season-high 35 and hitting a last-second 3-pointer to complete a stirring rally against Chicago over the weekend.

The Mavericks started winning at a playoff pace once Nowitzki got settled in after missing the first 27 games following the first knee surgery of his career.

But their playoff odds still aren't good going into a critical game Tuesday night at the Los Angeles Lakers. Utah and the Lakers started Monday tied for the final playoff spot in the West, a game a half ahead of Dallas.