NEW YORK -- It's certainly not the prettiest game, but Mavs-Knicks is delivering in entertainment value, even if at times neither team can hold on to the basketball.
It's a back-and-forth affair as it figured to be against the Mike D'Antoni-coached Knicks and through one half of play and,despite nine turnovers, the Mavs hold a 56-52 lead.
Dirk Nowitzki leads the Mavs with 13 points to give him exactly 22,000 for his career. He becomes the 24th player in NBA history to record 22,000. Dallas has the lead thanks to 10 points from DeShawn Stevenson and 11 from Tyson Chandler, who needs five rebounds for another double-double. J.J. Barea came off the bench to score 10 points and matched Stevenson's two 3-pointers.
Amare Stoudemire is finding little resistance on the offensive end with a game-high 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Danilo Galinari has 13 points.
The Mavs got off to a fast start and led 17-8. But, the Knicks answered with a 22-5 run and opened an eight-point lead. Since then, it's been back and forth. To be fair to the Mavs, the Knicks only scored 18 points in the second quarter, so give a nod to the Mavs for making things a little tougher.
Expect more of the same in the second half.