KNICKS 104 MAVERICKS 94 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
Trailing by nine points in the first half, the long ball not falling, and Carmelo Anthony with some early foul trouble were all factors the Knicks overcame on Friday night. New York found a way to snatch the lead in the third quarter and recorded its fourth consecutive victory in a 104-94 win at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks outscored the surprising Mavericks 29-21 in the third period, led by the scoring punch from reserve guard J.R. Smith. At the midpoint of the quarter, Smith drilled a 3-pointer and then hit a midrange shot to hand New York a 78-71 advantage. This run was crucial considering Anthony picked up his fourth foul with over seven minutes remaining in the third frame. Steve Novak added a corner 3-ball and the Knicks built a six-point lead heading into the final stanza.
Anthony returned to start the fourth quarter and provided an immediate impact. The All-Star hit a 3-pointer at the seven-minute mark and he continued to attack in a 31-point outing. Tyson Chandler helped hold off the road team as well. The former Mavericks big man smashed a putback dunk with six minutes remaining in the game and extended New York’s lead to nine points. Chandler was fouled on the play and he made sure the Dallas bench heard his roar following the critical bucket.
Anthony and company held Dallas below the century mark and forced 20 turnovers. The Knicks have yet to allow an opponent to reach 100 points in all four of their victories this year. Smith finished with 22 off the bench, Raymond Felton dished out nine assists, and Ronnie Brewer added 13 points in the win.
“I felt like with the unit that we have, the veteran leadership, the guys coming in early. I really felt like guys wanted it this year. I honestly expected us to get off to a good start, it’s just a matter of continuing it.” -- Tyson Chandler
Anthony kicked his game in high gear when the Knicks needed to rely on his offensive firepower. The forward registered 31 points on 10-of-22 shooting from the floor. He also connected on 2-of-5 shots from downtown and seven of his 11 attempts at the charity stripe. Additionally, Anthony grabbed seven boards to help New York improve to 4-0.
The Knicks forced 20 Dallas turnovers while only committing nine.
The Knicks will return to MSG Training Center for a practice session on Saturday afternoon. Once again, New York faces a layoff between games as it does not take the court until Tuesday in a road contest against the Magic.