3-pointer: Hot O.J. Mayo makes Mavs hard to beat

As O.J. Mayo goes, so go the Mavs these days.

Mayo has been awesome in the Mavs’ nine wins and average in their 10 losses. He has put up 24.1 points on 53.5 percent shooting (59.6 from 3-point range) in the Mavs’ victories. Those numbers drop to 16.0 points on 40.7 percent shooting (40.0 from 3-point range) in the losses.

Those splits have been even more drastic in the last seven games, when the Mavs went 3-4. Mayo sizzled with an average of 25.7 points in the three wins, shooting 29-of-55 from the floor and 12-of-21 from 3-point range. He fizzled with an average of 9.8 points in the four losses, shooting 15-of-46 from the floor and 1-of-14 from 3-point range.

Mayo got it going after a slow start in Thursday’s win over the Suns, scoring 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting, a performance highlighted by his clutch 21-footer with a hand in his face during the final minute.

A few more notes from the Mavs’ win:

1. Collison bounces back: After a miserable performance in the Mavs’ loss to the Clippers, backup point guard Darren Collison played a key role in the win over the Suns.

Collison scored 16 points in 27 minutes, including six clutch free throws in crunch time, when coach Rick Carlisle opted to stick with him instead of going with savvy veteran Derek Fisher on the second night of a back-to- back. Collison did have a couple of turnovers in the fourth quarter, but those were his only turnovers of the night.

The Mavs are 7-3 when Collison commits two or fewer turnovers. By contrast, they’re 0-6 when he commits at least four turnovers.

2. Starting nine: Carlisle made a point to claim that the Mavs had a “starting eight” before the team left on the road trip. Add one more to it, because I don’t believe he was including Dahntay Jones.

Jones made just his second start of the season against the Suns, going scoreless in 15 minutes. The Derek Fisher-Mayo-Jones-Shawn Marion-Elton Brand quintet was the NBA-high ninth starting lineup the Mavs have used this season.

Mayo is the only player to start every game for the Mavs

3. Nifty 50: Mayo’s first 3-pointer was his 50th of the season, making him the fastest Maverick to that milestone.

Mayo hit his 50th 3 in the Mavs’ 19th game. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Jason Terry was the only Mav to hit 50 3s in the first 20 games, having hit his 50th in the 20th game of the 2007-08 season.

Mayo’s 52 3-pointers made ranks second in the NBA, five behind New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson. He also ranks second in 3-point percentage (.516), less than a percentage point behind San Antonio’s Matt Bonner.