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O.J. Mayo out-duels James Harden as Mavs beat Rockets

Dec 8, 2012, 11:56 PM EDT

O.J. Mayo

This was one of the more fun contests from a 10-game Saturday night slate. We had a superstar from each team putting in a dominant performance, and we had wild swings in the control of the game, with each team gaining a double-digit advantage at various points throughout.

Ultimately, the Mavericks found a way to prevail. Behind 40 points from O.J. Mayo, Dallas came from 11 down in the fourth quarter to beat the Rockets 116-109 in Houston.

Mayo out-dueled James Harden, who poured in 30 first-half points for his Rockets to help them overcome an early 19-point deficit to lead by three at the break. The 66-63 halftime score was no surprise to anyone who pays attention to even the most basic advanced statistical numbers, as Houston leads the league in pace, while Dallas is third in that same category.

Mayo had 22 by halftime, while Chris Kaman, who was questionable to even play in this one after suffering an ankle sprain in his team’s last outing in Phoenix, scored 14 on 6-of-7 shooting.

While Harden cooled off considerably after the break, and finished with just nine points the rest of the way on 2-of-7 shooting, Mayo kept rolling. He had 12 of his team’s final 14 points, and converted big-time, clutch opportunities down the stretch to help his team seal it.

This is likely a tougher loss than usual for the Rockets, considering the big leads they had in this game which were ultimately squandered. Also, it was head coach Kevin McHale’s first game back coaching the team since the tragic passing of his daughter just a couple of weeks ago.

Getting back to Dallas, Mayo is becoming quite the story for the Mavericks this season. His scoring ability is being showcased with Dirk Nowitzki out of the lineup, and he’s thriving in that role, posting numbers that have him in the league’s top 10 in scoring average per game. And from three-point distance, Mayo has been even more impressive — he’s second in the league in makes from beyond the arc, as well as percentage.

Rick Carlisle is doing a great job of getting the most of his available talent in Dallas this season. Shawn Marion missed this game with a groin strain, so Carlisle trotted out yet another different starting lineup, one that featured Kaman and Mayo, along with Brandan Wright, Dahntay Jones, and Derek Fisher.

Carlisle is definitely pushing all the right buttons at this point, but it certainly helps when no matter who he throws out there, he can count on Mayo to do everything necessary offensively to secure his team’s victory.

  1. rj2323 - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    No doubt mayo is an all star I knew he would thrive in Dallas he’s got so much talent he’s the future in Dallas. Once dirk comes back this team will be tough to stop

  2. jimmygrahamchrisivory - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:56 AM

    Wow. Memphis could’ve been damn near a dynasty if Mayo could’ve put up this type of production. Gasol, Randolph, Gay, Mayo, and Conley.. wow. This type of offense would’ve really put them over the top, especially with Randolph and Gay finally healthy at the same time.

    I guess it’s a win for both Mayo and Memphis because he can finally live up to his potential in a new chance of scenery and the Grizz don’t have to worry about him being a headache anymore. They could’ve at least got something for him in return though while they had the chance. Hollins should’ve found a way to make things work with Mayo mentally and kept him on the team.

  3. bleed4philly - Dec 9, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Cuban is a genius… If you can’t get the elite players, just get guys playing for new contracts. Dirk is not even playing and they’re a .500 team.

  4. noahbird - Dec 9, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    WV pushes out ballers.

  5. sportsnut101 - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    harden is great on offensive but thats it

    he cant play def but hes way better then lin on def for sure

    wow lin is so bad toney is in for him n so lin is gonna make 25 mill from bench for 18 min the rockets gm should be fired by all star break

    let lin play with the 2nd team n make him the main guy

  6. tigershark49 - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Mayo should have always been a starter. Super talented basketball player.

  7. londonps - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    I’ve been a mayo fan since forever heard about him when I was in high school around the early 2000s, glad he got off that Memphis bench and is killing them

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