Final: Knicks 100, Mavs 96
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
At one point trailing 90-77 in the fourth quarter, Dallas launched a 15-2 run to tie the game at 92 in the closing minutes. It’s the third straight game the Mavericks have recovered from a double-digit lead in the closing minutes to tie it up.
When you watch the Mavs’ infamous bench unit of J.J. Barea, Yogi Ferrell, Devin Harris, Dirk Nowitzki, and Dwight Powell, probably the first thing you notice is the glaring lack of size. Barea and Ferrell are both listed at 6-foot and Harris at 6-foot-3, which means they certainly do give up a lot of height in the backcourt and on the wing. Many would presume that hurts the defense, although that group has surprisingly put up very good defensive numbers this season. But it’s easy to focus on the defensive problems while completely forgetting that the same mismatch exists on the other end. Harris gives up height to small forwards, but he makes up for it by blazing past those guys pretty regularly. Harris leads the team by scoring 25.1 percent of his points from the free throw line, and he draws a higher percentage of fouls while he plays than any other Maverick as well, per NBA Stats. The veteran guard still has wheels, and he’s able to burn past off-balance bigger players for layups and and-1s like it’s nothing. He’s also been the team’s best plus-minus guy for basically the entire season, dating back to late October. Considering the height disparity on almost a nightly basis, Harris remains very effective on both ends of the floor.
This has little to do with the game but everything to do with the Mavericks. Derek Harper’s No. 12 jersey was retired tonight and raised to the rafters, where it will live forever alongside Brad Davis’ No. 15 and Rolando Blackman’s No. 22. Harper ranks first all-time in franchise history in assists and steals, and is top-five in numerous other categories, including points and games played. He absolutely deserves the honor, and it was fitting that it took place against the New York Knicks, with whom Harper played in the 1994 NBA Finals. Congratulations on an amazing career, Harp!
The Mavs (13-28) will play the Orlando Magic (12-28) on Tuesday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.