With the win, Dallas improves its record to 47-18 and stay ahead of the Lakers as the second seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. New York falls to 34-30 and are within one game of being supplanted by the Philadelphia 76ers for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.
Amar’e Stoudemire had a game high 36 points to go along with seven rebounds. Eighteen of Stoudemire’s points came in the third quarter as he kept the Mavericks from pulling away, all the while playing with a shoulder strain that he sustained in the opening minutes of the game.
Landry Field had 19 points, while Carmelo Anthony and Toney Douglas added 18 points each. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 23 points and nine rebounds, Shawn Marion added 22 points and eight rebounds and Jason Terry contributed 21 points.
“You can't win them all, so you have to come back the next day and compete, and that's what we did today,” said Nowitzki of the transition from the game against the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday to yesterday's game against the Knicks.
“We didn't run away with it, but at least we didn't let them right back in it. We were still able to close it out, so it was definitely a good win.”
The Knicks stayed competitive as they opened the first quarter with a 6-0 run. However, with a few missed shots and an inability to stop the Mavs on defense, the Knicks let the Mavs back into the game.
With the score tied 12-12, Dallas went on a 10-2 run, causing New York to a call a time out. Nevertheless, the timeout did nothing to stop the Mavericks' momentum, as Dallas held the lead until the final buzzer.
While the Knicks put up a respectable 109 points, they did so by making only 42.5 percent of their field goals. Compare that with the 110 points the Knicks put up in their win over the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night, while shooting 53.4 percent, and it becomes clear that one of the reasons the Knicks lost to the Mavs was an off-shooting night.
The second hurdle was the Knicks defense, which allowed 51.1 percent from the field, along with 45.8 percent from beyond the three-point line.
While the Knicks are second in the league in points per game production, their defensive deficiencies are a byproduct of their fast pace. This is the reason why they are the third worst defense in the league when it comes to stopping the opposition from scoring.
Stoudemire also picked up his 16th technical foul of the season, which means that, unless it’s rescinded by the NBA, Stoudemire will have to serve an automatic one game suspension against the Indiana Pacers.
With the game on the line, who would you rather take the last shot?
“I feel confident they can rescind it,” Stoudemire said. “We laughed about it later and the official agreed with us it wasn't that bad...We got tangled up, that's it.”
“It's one of those things, and we were just tired at the start,” coach Mike D'Antoni said. “Amare was huge in the second half. There was no quit in him. He played. But they just beat us.”
The Knicks have some good news as coach Mike D’Antoni stated that Chauncey Billups is “close” to making his return from the left thigh injury, and could possibly play in Sunday’s game against the Pacers.
On Sunday, the Knicks will be taking on a Pacers squad that has lost seven of its last eight games and could extend its streak tonight with a loss to the Toronto Raptors.