Mavs' starting guards already have nice chemistry

DALLAS -- O.J. Mayo spent part of his 25th birthday Monday competing with Darren Collison and assistant coach Darrell Armstrong in a 3-point shooting contest.

As you can imagine, there was plenty of good-natured ribbing, not to mention some made baskets. Armstrong won the contest, though Collison and Mayo spent much of it jawing with each other and laughing. Even when they're not in the heat of game action, the two seem very comfortable with each other.

"They're veteran players and they played together in all the preseason games, started together in all the preseason games and that gave them a headstart," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We're just at the very beginning of things here. There's a long way to go. They've done a good job and they're good workers, so they'll continue to work and get better."

The two worked well together Saturday as Collison's ability to penetrate into the paint and then kick the ball out to an open shooter helped Mayo, who had his outside shot working. Mayo made a career-high seven 3-pointers on his way to a 30-point effort in the Mavericks' win.

But more than the preseason games, the fact that the two practiced and got in a gym together well before that may have helped their chemistry develop even quicker.

"We were here quite early for training camp, at the end of July, so we got a good 2 1/2 months in before the season started to jell a little bit," Mayo said. "So I think that helped us a lot."

Mayo said he's never played a game on his birthday, so he's curious to see how he does. And he plans to celebrate a little if the Mavericks' win.

"I'm a quarter-of-a-century, so I'm getting old," Mayo said, laughing.