Recap: Mavs' second-half surge ruins Kidd's return to Big D
Earl K. Sneed recaps the second game of the Dallas Mavericks' three-game homestand, after Jason Kidd had his return to Big D ruined as O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter led Dallas to a win over the New York Knicks.
Recap: Knicks 111 at Mavericks 114
Mavs' second-half surge ruins Kidd's return to Big D
DALLAS — Just two nights after suffering a disappointing 105-101 overtime loss to Golden State in the start of a three-game homestand, things didn’t get any easier for the Dallas Mavericks.
After failing to outlast the Warriors in 53 minutes of action on Monday night, the Mavericks had little time to soak over the loss before the 8-1 New York Knicks came to the American Airlines Center. Meanwhile, with ex-Maverick Jason Kidd making his return to Big D for the first time since spurning his former team and signing with the Knicks in free agency, the new-look Dallas team tried to put its most recent loss aside while attempting to avenge a 104-94 defeat in New York on Nov. 9.
Led by shooting guard O.J. Mayo and eight-time All-Star Vince Carter, the Mavericks (7-6) would do just that, holding on late for a 114-111 victory to ruin Kidd’s return.
“It’s big for us,” Carter said of the victory. “I think we’ve been up and down. It was just great to see us gut it out. We knew we had an opportunity the first time and we wanted to come out and compete and give ourselves a chance to win at the end of the game.”
“What does it mean? It means we’re making some strides,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle added. “I don’t get too excited about wins and I try not to get too down about losses. I try to see things for how they are and gain whatever perspective that we can. Tonight, this showed toughness and grit and guts, and to get to where we want to get and to stem the tide until Dirk [Nowitzki] comes back, this is how we’ve gotta play.”
Still without 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and in need of an early spark, Carlisle made a change to his starting lineup, inserting new addition Troy Murphy at power forward over big man Elton Brand, who had started all 11 of his previous appearances this season.
“Our starting lineup previously had really struggled, and I think some of it was just the makeup of the parts. And part of it was New York’s starting lineup is smallish and I didn’t like Elton guarding a perimeter guy, so we put Murph in there to space the court and rebound and Elton gave us a huge lift off the court. He was a man out there on the court tonight. I mean, he was getting huge rebounds, he was making physical plays and he had a real presence,” Carlisle would say of the decision after the game.
Murphy then joined center Chris Kaman, small forward Shawn Marion, Mayo and point guard Darren Collison in the first unit before Knicks point guard Raymond Felton and Mayo exchanged 3-pointers to open the game.
Cashing in on a 3 himself on his first shot attempt, Kidd quickly made himself right at home after a pregame ovation from the crowd. The Knicks’ lead would then quickly balloon to double figures, before Mayo led a furious rally and an 11-0 run to briefly take the lead.
Still, despite 16 combined points from their starting backcourt, the Mavs trailed by a score of 28-24 after the opening quarter.
Responding to his benching well with six rebounds in his first six minutes if action, Brand trailed to help lead the charge with the reserves as the second quarter got under way. But it would be eight-time All-Star Vince Carter that assumed the scoring duties, catching fire from behind the 3-point line.
Responding to his benching well with six rebounds in his first six minutes if action, Brand tried to help lead the charge with the reserves as the second quarter got under way.
But it would be Carter that assumed the scoring duties, catching fire from behind the 3-point line with three triples in the period.
Despite 13 first-half points for Mayo and 11 points for Carter off the bench, the Mavs were outshot through 24 minutes of play, 50 percent to 46.5 percent. The Knicks also scored 17 points off Dallas’ 11 turnovers at the midway mark, canceling out the Mavs’ 24-19 rebounding margin.
Without Murphy ruled out for the second half after suffering an upper respiratory illness, Carlisle again made an adjustment to his lineup with rookie Jae Crowder starting the third quarter. Mayo and Collison then took on the task of lifting their team, connecting on a full-court transition opportunity for Collison’s layup over Kidd.
And even with the NBA’s fourth-leading scorer, Carmelo Anthony, awakening from a 1-of-6 first half and getting in an offensive rhythm, back-to-back 3s by Mayo and Crowder eventually lifted the Mavericks to an 84-80 edge heading to the final quarter.
“We were down going into halftime but just down five, and we were just making a few mental errors as far as turnovers. But that third quarter we knew we needed to make a push. We understood they played last night, the third game in four nights, so you’ve gotta take advantage of some of those things,” Mayo said of the third period.
After scoring 12 points in the third period, Mayo sat while Crowder and Carter took over the scoring. And after two 3-pointers by the rookie lifted the hometown crowd out of its seats, Kaman’s and-one score (missed free throw) put the Mavs in control, 95-85, with 8:52 remaining.
A short time later, Carter drained a 3 from the top of the key over a flying Chandler to go up 100-88 as the Mavs’ sixth man began to go back to work. Still, the Knicks refused to go away quietly, with Chandler’s and-one over Brand cutting the Dallas lead to just 104-98 with 4:45 still on the clock.
Another three-point play by Chandler made it a just a 105-101 game with 4:08 remaining. But, after surpassing his previous season-high scoring night in the quarter, Carter wouldn’t be denied, draining a 3 to go up 108-101 with 3:44 remaining. Carter then turned his attention to the defensive end of the floor, drawing an offensive foul on Anthony’s drive with 2:26 left to keep the lead at five.
Answering another 3 by Anthony with a jumper of his own, Carter couldn’t contain Chandler from making it a three-point game with yet another three-point play inside. Kidd then brought his team even closer, connecting on two free throws with 1:15 still showing on the clock to make it just a 112-11 edge for his former squad. And after a 24-second violation for the Mavs, the Knicks (8-2) had the ball and 24.0 seconds to work with to try to steal the win.
That’s when Marion locked in on the defensive end, forcing a double clutch by Anthony on a jumper attempt that burly drew iron. And after Dahntay Jones subsequently grabbed the defensive rebound, Anthony was forced to commit his sixth foul on the night before Jones’ two free throws padded the final score with 3.3 seconds left.
“We were able to buckle down, get another stop and then seal the game, but we shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place,” Marion said of the final sequence.
“They’re a good team. They haven’t lost very many games this year, so you’ve gotta understand they’re gonna make a run,” Mayo explained. “You know, there’s those nights you have a lead and end up losing the game, but tonight we held on and made plays, Dahntay got a big-time rebound, made two free throws and walked away with the win. So, happy and content, we got the win.”
Scoring a game-high 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting and 3-of-7 from 3, Mayo lead five Mavericks in double figures.
Off the bench, Carter added a season-high 25 points on 9-for-17 from the field and 5-of-10 from 3, while Collison’s 19 points and seven assists neutralized Kidd’s 17 points, five assists, six rebounds and five steals in his return.
“You know, J-Kidd has made his mark in this league. He’s one of the best point guards that we’ve seen. I grew up watching him, I admire his game and I think he made his mark on this game, so I think it doesn’t make anything sense for me to take it personally against him. I have the utmost respect for him, so when I go out on the court, I’m just gonna play my game and not really worry about that,” Collison said of comparisons to his predecessor.
Meanwhile, Crowder responded well from the first CD-DNP well, scoring 12 points and hitting 3-of-5 from 3-point range.
“That’s part of my motivation,” the first-year standout said of his reemergence in Carlisle’s rotation. “That’s what drove me to come in and play hard like I always do and try to prove myself again. Of course, that gave me motivation.”
Kaman was the only other Mav in double figures with 10 points in the first unit. The Mavs also claimed a 42-37 rebounding advantage.
Finishing with 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting, Anthony led six Knicks in double figures. But the Mavs also overcame a slight shooting disadvantage, as the Knicks’ 50.6 percent bettered Dallas’ 49.4 percent, in addition to Dallas’ 14 turnovers for 20 New York points.
“It proves that we can play team basketball if we believe, if we fight and if we come to play,” Carter concluded. “This is how we’re gonna have to play the rest of the year to win games, especially against the very best teams.”
“When you play well on both end of the floor, you’ll be able to get wins. And that’s what we did tonight,” Mayo added.
Note: The Mavs will now conclude their three-game homestand Saturday night, welcoming in the Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavericks handed the Lakers a 99-91 loss in Los Angeles on Oct. 30. The game will air locally at 7:30 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.
“It’s early in the season. We know we’re gonna make some mistakes. We know we’re not the team that we want to be yet, but it’s a good start to play against a very good team in New York,” Collison concluded. “But we’ve just gotta continue to stay the course, stay focused and not get too high over this win. You know, it’s a good win, but we’ve gotta just continue to move on to the next game and play like the way we did tonight.”
“Happy for the guys,” Carlisle added. “It will be a good Thanksgiving tomorrow, we’ve got a practice day Friday and then we’ve got another hot team coming in here on Saturday.”