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Sunday, December 9, 2012
O.J. Mayo accomplishes rare Mavs feat

By Marc Stein

O.J. Mayo didn't merely outduel James Harden in Houston on Saturday night.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mayo assembled just the second 40-point game from a starting Mavs guard in the last 18 -- yes, 18 -- seasons.

Before Mayo's 40-point eruption that enabled the Mavs to pull out a 116-109 victory on the Rockets' floor, Dallas hadn't seen a 40-point game from a backcourt starter since Michael Finley's 42 points against Detroit on Nov. 27, 2002.

Scoring for the Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavs like he hasn't scored since he was a rookie in Memphis, Mayo now has three games with at least 30 points with his team. According to Elias, Dallas hadn't enjoyed so much as a 30-point game from a starting guard in more than two years, dating to Jason Terry's 36 points at Golden State on Feb. 8, 2010.

Harden finished with 39 points in the see-saw Texas duel and remains the only player in the league who switched teams since last season with a higher scoring average (24.7 ppg) than Mayo's 20.9 points per game.