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Dirk Nowitzki's scoring hasn't led to success

DALLAS -- From the Department of Statistical Trends Sure to Change: It hasn’t helped the Mavericks when Dirk Nowitzki has played up to his Hall of Fame standards this season.

It’s a small sample size because of Dirk’s much-discussed struggles this season, a slump he seems to have busted out of with 30- and 24-point performances in losses over the weekend.

Those were only the third and fourth times Nowitzki has exceeded his career scoring average (22.8) this season. The Mavs are 1-3 in those games, with the lone win coming Jan. 2 against the Thunder.

“It doesn’t help if we lose,” Nowitzki said. “Either way, we’ve got to find a way to all play at a high level. If I’m playing better now, we can’t have other guys go down. It’s got to be collectively playing well.”

Nowitzki makes a good point.

He was an MVP candidate last season, but his scoring totals weren’t the best indicators of Mavs’ success. They were 28-12 when Nowitzki scored at least 23 points during the regular season and 12-4 in the playoffs.

Balance is a much better indicator.

The Mavs were 38-6 last season when they had at least five players score in double figures. They’re 8-2 when that happens this season.

“With me playing better, we’ve still got to find the other guys, keep them involved and keep them playing at a high level,” Nowitzki said. “We’ve got to be a good team to beat some of those teams.”