Rapid Reaction: Knicks 104, Mavericks 94
How it happened: The Mavs cooled off after a first-half shootout between two of the NBA’s highest-scoring teams. The Knicks kept filling it up.
The Mavs went ice cold in the fourth quarter, when they scored only 16 points on 5-of-16 shooting. That included a scoreless span of 4:06, when the Knicks scored eight points to essentially put the game away.
Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points to lead the Knicks, serving as a closer with nine of those points in the final frame.
But the Knicks had a critical spurt after their superstar went to the bench following his fourth foul midway through the third quarter. New York sixth man J.R. Smith had nine of his 22 points during the 11-5 run that stretched the Knicks’ lead to seven.
Shooting guard O.J. Mayo, who has performed like a star while Dirk Nowitzki recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery, continued to shoot the lights out from 3-point range. Mayo had 23 points, making five of 10 3-point attempts, but he was plagued by foul trouble throughout the game.
The Knicks didn't allow Dallas point guard Darren Collison to get going. Collison, who entered the night averaging 16.2 points per game, scored only four and didn't have a field goal until the final minute.
What it means: The undefeated Knicks ended the Mavs’ three-game winning streak. The Mavs were pretty competitive against a playoff-caliber team despite missing Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, but they’re 1-2 on the road entering Saturday’s trip to Charlotte.
Play of the game: Maybe Tyson Chandler’s ferocious, and-1 putback slam brought back fond memories for Mavs fans. It dealt a serious blow to the Mavs’ comeback hopes, stretching the Knicks’ lead to 10 with 6:08 remaining. After Anthony missed a reverse layup in heavy traffic, Chandler rose above the crowd to grab the rebound with two hands and throw it home despite contact from Jae Crowder. Chandler, showing the spirit that made him the emotional leader of the championship Mavs, celebrated by pounding his chest and hollering to the crowd.
Stat of the night: Collison and Mayo combined for 12 turnovers. They didn’t have any in Wednesday’s win over the Toronto Raptors.
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