Starting 5: Mavericks with O.J.

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Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1: Hold the Mayo

Dallas Morning NewsThere were two players that were seeing a major increase in role entering this season and a chance to really find their way in the NBA.

James Harden went from the best player off the bench for the Thunder to the lead player for a young Rockets team with Playoff dreams. It is the kind of step-up in role and challenge that a bench player like Harden wants. There is still so much he could in his career.

O.J. Mayo was looking for the same thing when he moved on to Dallas. The Mavericks would still have Dirko Nowitzki to carry the offensive load and the expectations that come with a veteran team. But injuries to Dirk turned the team over to Mayo in the early part of the season.

Saturday he certainly delivered.

Mayo scored 40 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, as Dallas topped James Harden, and his 39 points and nine asissts for Houston, in a 116-109 win. The game marked Kevin McHale's emotional return to the bench after his daughter passed a way two weeks ago.

The game itself was an up-and-down affair. The kind you love watching on TV and featured a big comeback from Dallas with the star power that comes with Mayo. Or at least he looked like a star in scoring a career high.

2: Garnett was board

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images/ZimbioKevin Garnett has been an NBA rebounding champion on numerous occassions in his career. Even as he has gone to the end of his career, he rmains a very strong presence on the glass.

Just once in Garnett's illustrious career, has he failed to get a rebound. That was way back in 1997. He has played in only 49 games where he has grabbed three or fewer rebounds. Amazingly, Garnett's teams went 27-22 in those games. Maybe he should grab fewer rebounds.

No, definitely not.

Garnett had 19 points in 23.5 minutes and did not grab a rebound. Once again, it did not matter for Garnett's team. Boston exacted a small measure of revenge for Friday night's overtime loss with a 92-79 victory at TD Garden in the second half of the home-and-home.

Boston got plenty of help on the boards with Garnett missing in action. Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger both had nine rebounds and Boston only were down 36-32 on the glass. Shooting 53.3 percent from the floor in these notorious grinds for games also was a pretty good boost for Boston.

3:  HIGHLIGHTS!!!

One-handed James dunk, the usual

Gee whiz

http://youtube.com/watch?v=SLQ5aXbAybc

Marco Belinelli from Corsica

4: Line of the Night: David Lee — 24 points, 17 rebounds

Golden State is still quietly playing really well as the team heads out East. The Warriors have gotten some great efforts from David Lee. In the 101-97 win over Washington last night, Lee had 24 points and 17 rebounds, helping lock down the boards and get the win over this struggling Wizards team. He is averaging 18.5 points per game and 11.3 rebounds per game so far this season.

5:  You can quote me on that

We were fortunate we hit a lot of threes, and when an NBA team does that, it makes it pretty tough on the opponent. It’s abnormal, but it happened tonight.

-Spurs coach Gregg Popovich being understated after San Antonio hit 17 3-pointers in a 132-102 win over the Bobcats

I like to shoot. I like to shoot it no matter where I am. Being here, definitely helps (having) the fans.

-Kings forward Travis Outlaw after scoring 11 points off the bench in his return to Portland

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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