Mavericks Deal Knicks Tenth Straight Loss
Dallas 100, New York 72
DALLAS, Feb. 13 (Ticker) -- The New York Knicks hoped to snap their nine-game losing streak and sweep the season series from the Dallas Mavericks. That turned out to be wishful thinking.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points and Jason Terry added 15 as the Mavericks thoroughly pounded the Knicks, 100-72, in a matchup of teams clearly headed in opposite directions.
"It's hard to play in (Madison Square) Garden," Nowitzki said. "They have a good home team and good home fans. Obviously they were a little different team with (Stephon) Marbury out there and (Jamal) Crawford was playing back then. We still feel we should have won that game. We were right there and had our chances in regulation and overtime."
Quite a lot has changed since that point. The Knicks have gone on to lose 16 of their last 17 games, while the Mavericks proceeded to win an NBA-best 13 straight prior to Friday's 113-104 loss to Denver.
"Obviously, that kick started a nice little streak for us after that and we played some good basketball," Nowitzki added. "With the Denver loss, maybe we needed another loss to get refocused."
Dallas rebounded in impressive fashion Monday behind a balanced attack led by Nowitzki, who made 5-of-12 shots and all 11 of his free throws.
"We had to respond after the Denver loss," Nowitzki said. "We had a great practice yesterday and a great shootaround and I think it carried over to the game. We did all of the little things defensively. Other than giving up nearly 20 offensive rebounds, we did everything great defensively and that led to a lot of fast breaks. We were moving the ball and whoever was open made a play."
The Mavericks, who still have not lost back-to-back games since Nov. 29-Dec. 1, never trailed in this one after Josh Howard's 3-pointer with 4:38 to play in the first quarter gave them a 21-19 lead.
"We had some good looks," said Howard, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half. "Guys were finding each other, we were just playing great Mavericks basketball. We came out and put them away early."
Dallas took command of the contest with an 18-4 run bridging the first two periods that included a pair of 3-pointers from former Knick Keith Van Horn and four points from Jerry Stackhouse.
"We're always successful when we get the ball moving from side to side," said Van Horn, who scored 11 points. "When we focus on doing that, our offense really flows well, everybody really gets a feel for the ball, everybody scores and we have a great offensive night."
The Mavericks extended their cushion to 51-31 midway through the second quarter with a 10-2 run that featured a pair of jumpers by Nowitzki and a three-point play by Marquis Daniels.
New York whittled its deficit to 63-51 on Eddy Curry's three-point play with 7:24 remaining in the third quarter, but Dallas responded with a 16-4 run over the next 5 1/2 minutes to end any hopes of a comeback.
"It's tough, absolutely," Knicks coach Larry Brown said. "We just have to learn from it and just keep trying to get better."
Howard ignited the burst with a bank shot, Terry added a 3-pointer and Nowitzki five free throws for the Mavericks, who shot 7-of-7 from the line during the surge and finished 34-of-37 for the game.
"It's big when you hit free throws," said Howard, who made all five of his attempts. "That's a free opportunity to get points so you want to take that opportunity and run with it. That's a good job for us to make that high a percent."
Erick Dampier scored 11 points with 12 rebounds and D.J. Mbenga added five blocks for Dallas, which forced 19 turnovers and has held 14 of its last 15 opponents under 100 points.
"We played good defense tonight," Dampier said. "We've just got to be consistent with it every night. We give ourselves a chance to win a lot of games with our defense."
Rookie Channing Frye scored 10 points and pulled down a career-high 14 boards for New York, which shot under 36 percent (25-of-70) in falling to 0-10 without Marbury.
"I look out there and Channing was battling like crazy with 14 rebounds," Brown said. "His effort was great. You hope kids benefit in situations like that."
Recently acquired Jalen Rose scored 13 points to lead the Knicks.
"You just have to give Dallas the credit," Rose said. "They have a good team. They have been playing well this season. They ran into a team that has not been playing well, and trying to learn things that they are doing. At this point, it didn't show."