Knicks Hang On, Outlast Mavericks
New York 117, Dallas 115 (OT)
NEW YORK, Jan. 11 (Ticker) -- Stephon Marbury and Jamal Crawford had big games and the New York Knicks made 30 straight free throws. But it was the effort of Antonio Davis which really stood out.
Davis had 11 points and nine rebounds and made a handful of big plays in overtime as the Knicks ran their winning streak to a season-high five games with a 117-115 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
"Davis' effort was phonomenal," said Knicks coach Larry Brown, who recorded his 999th career victory. "I think they all competed. One of the referees even commented how hard we were trying, which is nice."
"I think they understand how much I care about this team," said Davis, a veteran forward nearing the end of his career. "You have to know what you can do and what you can't do. And what I can do is defend and rebound. When they see me running after a rebound or something like that, they (young guys) know what this game is all about."
In overtime, Davis had a tip-in that put New York ahead, 112-109, with 2:34 to play and then hit two foul shots with 1:27 left to give the Knicks the lead for good at 114-112.
Davis also provided tough defense on Nowitzki in the extra session. Although Nowitzki scored seven points in overtime, Davis managed to harass him into missing an off-balance 14-footer with 67 seconds remaining.
"I know he's a great player," Davis said. "I just tried to stay in front of him. You can't jump up in the basket.
"He's a crafty defender," Nowitzki said. "He was right there. It was a good play. He was great. He was important to them."
Davis also had seven offensive rebounds. The Knicks finished with a 54-37 advantage on the glass and had 28 offensive boards to 27 defensive rebounds by Dallas.
After Nowitzki's miss, the Knicks sealed it at the line as Jamal Crawford made a pair of free throws to push the team's streak to 30 in a row before splitting a pair shortly thereafter.
"We have lost some games earlier (this season) and guys have taken it to heart and are really working on it," said Crawford, who was 9-of-10 from the line.
The foul shots by Crawford rendered Jason Terry's running 3-pointer meaningless and gave New York its first five-game winning streak since January 31-February 8, 2004.
"We withstood their punch and we continued to fight," said Marbury, who made 10-of-10 free throws. "We never gave up. We always thought we were going to win the game."
Eddy Curry added 21 for the Knicks, who shot just 41 percent (40-of-97).
Terry scored 20 points and Josh Howard added 18 and nine rebounds for the Mavericks, who won Monday at Boston on a buzzer-beater by Jerry Stackhouse but could not repeat the feat at the end of the fourth quarter.
"We had chances to win," Nowitzki said. "We had good shots. Last week we found ways to win those kind of games."
Terry and Nowitzki drained 3-pointers in a 13-0 surge that pulled the Mavericks within 88-85 with 8:05 left. A jumper by Marbury gave the Knicks a 101-97 advantage with 3:01 to go, but Devin Harris drove for a layup and Terry and Nowitzki sank jumpers to give Dallas a 103-101 lead with 1:32 to play.
Curry's follow shot tied it before Terry's drive with 37 seconds remaining reclaimed the lead for Dallas. Marbury drove for the tying layup with 10 seconds to play, and Nowitzki missed a jumper and a 3-pointer around Crawford's miss, setting up overtime.
The Knicks hit the boards hard in the first half, opening a 63-48 lead behind 15 points from Marbury and 14 from Curry.
"We were just not in the game," Stackhouse said. "We were totally knocked on our heels in the first half."
"Our team is not playing enough of a 48-minute game and that's the disappointing thing," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "We know it's tough to win road games. This was a hot team team we were playing, give them credit. But you can't play 18-20 minutes of a second half and expect to beat any NBA team."