The highest-scoring foreign-born player in league history hit a long jumper early in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night to put him at 27,314 points, one ahead of Hayes. The 7-foot German passed Hakeem Olajuwon for ninth and the top spot among foreigners on Nov. 11.
Nowitzki's latest milestone came with Kobe Bryant watching. Bryant, who passed Michael Jordan for third on the scoring list this month, missed his third straight game for rest.
The 36-year-old Nowitzki, in his 17th season, was questionable before the game with a stomach ailment.
Hayes spent most of his 16-year career with Washington and finished it with Houston in 1984.