When 5 or more score, Mavs hard to beat

DALLAS -- It's no coincidence that as the number of players scoring in double figures in a particular game goes up, the odds of winning do too.

The Dallas Mavericks have long relied on Dirk Nowitzki to carry a large percentage of the scoring load, a task that can become rather burdensome. So when the Mavs get six players to score in double figures as they did in Wednesday's 103-98 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, and Nowitzki is the team's second-leading scorer with 21 points, it reinforces the importance of getting scoring from other areas.

The Mavs' records bear it out. Dallas is 11-1 when at least five players score in double figures and 5-0 when six get there. When only four reach double figures, which typically means Nowitzki has had to shoulder the scoring, the Mavs are 16-4.

"Overall it’s becoming an innate characteristic of this team," coach Rick Carlisle said of spreading the wealth. "We don’t want to have to lean on Dirk for 30 and 35 point nights on a consistent basis because we feel we can give him enough help and give him enough rest. So we want to stay in that same kind of mode."