Dirk Nowitzki hyperextends left knee, but OK

NEW YORK -- Dirk Nowitzki had a bit of a scare midway through the third quarter of Sunday's game when he tried to drive past Amare Stoudemire, but ended up hitting the deck and staying down for a moment to check out his left knee.

"What happened was he clipped my right leg, but I kept on the drive and my left leg actually buckled on it so I hyperextended it a little,'' Nowitzki said. "It loosened up after that and I was able to finish the game.''

It's the right knee that gave Nowitzki fits to start the season and took him out of action for four games to work on strengthening it.

Just two minutes before the incident, Nowitzki completed a four-point play when he swished a 3-pointer with Stoudemire's arm plowing into his face and knocking Nowitzki backward to the floor. Then he hit another 3 to put Dallas up 63-55 with 7:26 left in the third.

After hyperextending his knee, Nowitzki made just two more field goals the rest of the game, plus six free throws to finish with a game-high 34 points. He sat down with 3:47 to go in third and Dallas ahead, 70-60. While on the bench, the Knicks closed to 75-72 to end the quarter.