Dirk's single-figure games rarest of rare

Dirk Nowitzki scores in single figures about as often as we celebrate New Year's.

The Mavericks' sweet-shooting 7-footer is good for about one single-figure stinker a season and he hopes his 3-of-11 outing for six points in Thursday's 93-71 loss to the San Antonio Spurs holds up for the remainder of this season. It was an ugly night to be sure with Nowitzki finishing the first half with two points on 1-of-7 shooting and Dallas trailing, 55-29.

No one else on the team could find the range either, but only a Nowitzki stat line like that draws an instant double-take, and only because it rarely ever happens.

Consider the evidence:

* The last time Dirk scored in single figures was Jan. 15, 2011 at Memphis. He had seven points in his first game back from a sprained knee that sidelined him for nine games and wasn't fully healthy, and he was ejected early in the third quarter after playing less than 15 minutes.

* The time before that was Dec. 18, 2009 when he scored five points against the Houston Rockets. He left that game after playing just 10:15 because Carl Landry's teeth were embedded in his elbow.

* Since the 2005-06 season, a stretch that spans 478 games as of Thursday, Dirk's single-figure games can be counted on two hands -- he's done it just eight times. The 2008-09 season is the only one during this stretch in which he did it twice. He scored in double figures in all 81 games he played in 2005-06 and in every other season he notched a single-digit clunker just once.

* In half of those eight games, Dirk logged fewer than 15 minutes.

* Dallas is 3-5 in those eight games and has lost five in a row.