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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Statistical tidbits: Houston Rockets at Mavericks

By Marc Stein

Five dribbles of statistical background to get you ready for Wednesday night's game between the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks (on ESPN):

*The Mavs have actually won their last eight games against Houston, which represents Dallas’ longest active winning streak against any opponent. But Dallas is just 4-16 against teams currently at or above .500 and only marginally better against Western Conference opposition (8-14) than the Rockets (7-14).

*Monday night marked just the second time in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, that both of the Mavs’ starting guards registered at least 20 points and nine assists. Darren Collison had 23 points and nine dimes and O.J. Mayo added 20 points and nine assists in Dallas’ 113-98 victory over Minnesota. The only other time that’s happened for the Mavs occurred Dec. 11, 1999, when Michael Finley (33 points, 10 assists) and Robert Pack (24 points, 11 assists) led the way in a win over Phoenix.

*Collison has made 21 consecutive free throws, six short of his career-best run of 27 straight in March 2011. It’s the third-longest active streak in the league, according to Elias, behind Brooklyn’s Deron Williams (40) and Milwaukee’s Mike Dunleavy (24).

*In his last six games, all as a starter, Dirk Nowitzki is averaging 16.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 42.9 percent from the floor. Houston’s James Harden, meanwhile, has scored at least 20 points in the Rockets’ past 21 games, good for the longest such streak by any Rocket since Hakeem Olajuwon’s 24 games in a row with at least 20 points in 1994-95.

*Entering Tuesday's game, the Rockets were the league leaders in both points per game (105.4) and turnovers per game (16.5). No team has ever finished the season atop both categories.