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Kobe Bryant enjoyed Dirk Nowitzki's game-winning basket

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Clutch recognize clutch.

Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki are two of the greatest scorers in NBA history, ranking third and sixth on the league's all-time scoring list, respectively. Some fans were looking forward to the final opportunity to watch the two old men face off before Kobe retires at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season, but a shoulder injury forced Bryant to miss the game on Tuesday night (as well as forcing Larry Nance, Jr. to sit on the floor).

The young Lakers gave Dirk's playoff bound Mavericks everything they could handle before ultimately falling after a hard fought fourth quarter. Dirk has actually played quite well on offense this season, but did his best homage to Kobe with a 5-14 shooting night against the Lakers.

But as has been the case so many times throughout his career, the big German was good when it counted, coming through with a game winning jumper in the games' final seconds. Kobe got a first row seat, and he liked what he saw:

Roy Hibbert, on the other hand, appeared to be terrified:

Despite the result, a fun end to a rare fun game in Laker Land.

You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.