Wayne Ellington is a patient man.

That patience is paying off for the Dallas Mavericks’ fifth-year guard.

In the Mavs’ first 55 games this season, Ellington played less than 10 minutes in 16 games and did not play in 28 of them because of a coach’s decision.

But in the past four games Ellington has manufactured 30 points, five rebounds and seven assists in 61 minutes. He’s also an impressive 10-of-14 from the field, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range.

“I’m just trying to take advantage of the opportunity,” Ellington said after Thursday’s practice at American Airlines Center. “I just come in here and have been working hard and doing whatever the team needs me to do.”

Ellington has moved ahead of Jae Crowder in the rotation.

“Wayne’s been very consistent all year in his approach and his work ethic in practice,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “When he’s gotten a chance to play in games he’s gone in there and played his game and done it in an aggressive way.”

Ellington was ready to play when he got the call from Carlisle. But that doesn’t mean his patience wasn’t tested.

“It’s tough, it’s very tough,” Ellington said, referring to the numerous games sitting and watching on the bench. “But it tests your professionalism because it’s part of the game.

“You got to stay ready and when your number is called you’ve got to be ready to produce.”

During Wednesday’s 108-89 win over New Orleans, Ellington produced a season-high tying 12 points in 22 minutes while making 4 of 6 3-point attempts.