Final: Mavs 91, Knicks 89

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

The Knicks shot 54.1 percent in the first half to the Mavs’ 46.7 percent, yet Dallas took a three-point lead into the locker room at the break. How? New York didn’t make a single three-point shot, while the Mavs knocked down five of them. Three-pointers are obviously worth more than two-pointers, so even though the Knicks technically shot better than the Mavericks, Dallas scored more efficiently in the first half.


  • Wesley Matthews cam up huge in this game, at point point scoring seven straight points for the Mavs in the fourth quarter. With less than 10 seconds left remaining, he stripped Carmelo Anthony en route to the rim for a potential game-winning shot. Matthews works his tail off on defense, to steal a phrase Rick Carlisle often uses. He was excellent tonight when it mattered most, a perfect reflection of the type of player he is.

  • Justin Anderson played a fine game, grabbing a career-high nine rebounds and scoring seven points. He made a key late layup which put the Mavs in front, then swiped the ball for a steal on the ensuing defensive possession. The rookie is certainly taking advantage of his expanded opportunity in the wake of Chandler Parsons’ season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Anderson works hard on both ends of the floor, he’s a momentum-changer, and he can make big plays in big situations. It’s easy to see why he’s already becoming a fan favorite type of guy.

  • J.J. Barea put on a clinic in the second quarter, scoring points in the frame. At the break, he had 14 points and seven assists alone — and he came off the bench. He finished the game with 26 points and seven dimes. Barea is such a reliable and consistent player, and he’s remained effective this season no matter his role. Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, he can be counted on not only to produce points for himself and for others, but also to play under control and run the offense responsibly. A point guard’s primary duty is to make sure his team finds good shots as often as possible without turning the ball over, and that’s frequently the case with Barea at the helm, particularly in the last few weeks.

  • Dwight Powell scored a career-high 16 points in his first-career start on Monday night, so he was rewarded with the starting nod again tonight. He rebounded well, but the Mavs found themselves down double-digits in the second half and therefore Rick Carlisle opted for a small-ball lineup with Dirk Nowitzki at the center position. It will be interesting to see if Powell gets the start again on Friday night as the Mavs go up against Andre Drummond, one of the best centers in the NBA. Powell certainly has the athleticism to keep up with him, so he might be the one to get the nod. However, Carlisle has shown time and time again that he isn’t afraid to tweak the starting lineup if he believes it gives his team the best chance to win. It could be Powell, it could be Salah Mejri, it could be Zaza Pachulia or David Lee or even Dirk Nowitzki. You’ll just have to tune in and find out.

  • The Knicks’ Triangle offense is challenging to defend because it focuses on touches both in the post and in isolation at the elbow, mostly run through Carmelo Anthony acting as a fulcrum. He’s one of the best one-on-one scorers in the NBA, so whether he’s matched up against the crafty Wesley Matthews or the longer Justin Anderson, Anthony will find ways to beat his man. He was red-hot in this game, mixing in fadeaways, drives, and face-up jumpers. He’s as tough as any player in the league to defend when he gets going.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (37-38) play the Detroit Pistons (40-35) Friday at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. Central.

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