Just a dozen games into the season and the Dirk Nowitzki-Monta Ellis combination looks extremely promising.

In the first 12 games, the Dallas Mavericks’ 11-time All-Star and their newest star have each scored at least 20 points in the same game on five occasions. That includes the 37 points Ellis tallied and the 35 points Nowitzki chipped in during Wednesday’s electrifying 123-120 victory over the Houston Rockets.

The 72 points are the most by two Mavs in one game since Jamal Mashburn (42) and Jason Kidd (38) combined to score 80 against the Rockets on April 11, 1995.

Ellis and Nowitzki were the linchpins as the Mavs rallied from an 18-point deficit with 3:36 remaining in the third period to chase down and dethrone one of the NBA’s finer ballclubs.

“They’re both stars in this league,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “And in big games and in big moments, your stars have got to be stars, and they were.

“We got a good balanced [Wednesday] night of them playing off each other and them getting other people involved. They’ve got to do a lot of work at both ends, because teams are trying to attack them.”

While Nowitzki is the consummate mainstay who can hoist a team on his shoulders and drag them to the winner’s circle, not many saw that leadership capability in Ellis.

When the Mavs signed Ellis to a three-year, $25 million free-agent contract this past summer, the one skill they knew he had in his pocket was his ability to fill up the basket.

But Ellis’ innate ability to crisply direct an offense, aggressively attack the basket and play solid defense has been unparalleled.