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Game Recap: Win Streak Comes to an End, 128-94

The 45-21 Dallas Mavericks look to defend their home court against a New York Knicks team that they absolutely decimated just a few short weeks ago.  New York, on the other hand, brings its 8-23 road record to the American Airlines Center looking to avenge one of its worst losses of the season and snap Dallas’ 13 game winning streak. 

Do the Mavericks continue to roll or does New York steal the show?

Game as a Whole:

Well, we all knew another loss was coming but surely we all thought it would take much longer than this.  The ride was fun while it lasted and maybe this is just karma sneaking up on the Mavericks after they pummeled the Knicks with a 50 point loss.

Where did it all go wrong? The Mavericks played without Haywood or Dampier for almost the entire game (14 total minutes between the two).  It would seem that Carlisle was trying to counteract a smaller lineup from the Knicks but the gamble did not pay off.  Along with the lack of playing a true center the Mavericks didn’t even try to slow the Knicks down in the paint with their now patented zone.  It was like the Mavericks were playing their first game of the season.

The box score provides all the evidence one would need to point out the defensive failings.  Knicks shot almost 55% from the field and have six players in double figures all while racking up 25 assists (almost doubling the Mavericks total).  The ball was moving for the Knicks and the Mavericks looked clueless.  Read the first two quarters but stop before 3 and 4 if you want to spare yourself any feelings of angst.

Let’s look at the quarters… 

1st Quarter:
  • Didn’t even look like the Knicks jumped for the tip.  Haywood has his first shot blocked by David Lee. 
  • Butler notches the first bucker for the Mavericks with a mid-range jumper. 
  • Haywood gets the ball knocked out of his hands by McGrady.  The sad part is that no one called out the double team coming.
  • 9:00, Nowitzki gets his first basket of the night in the paint.  He is currently 1 for 2 from the floor.
  • 8:18, Back-to-back fouls for the Knicks.  It is funny that both of the former Wizards were the ones who went to the line. 
  • 6:55, Butler shouldering the scoring load early for Dallas. He has six of Dallas’ eleven points.
  • 5:51, Dirk punches the ball out to Kidd for another possession.  Butler forces Gallinari to pick up his second foul. Caron misses both free throws.
  • 4:49, Nowitzki fails to cover the paint as David Lee charges in to pick up the foul. 
  • 4:32, Beaubois loves to look for Marion.  Beaubois hits Marion deep in the post for an easy bucket.
  • The Mavericks refuse to put their foot on the gas and are content with letting the Knicks hang around. 
  • 3:13. Kidd hits his first three off of a little brush screen.  That ties his all-time season high with 140 three pointers made.
  • 1:43, Kidd with a rare 15-foot jumper.  It only took four passes and an offensive rebound to get that one basket.
  • :27, Beaubois gets the and-1 on Eddie House.  The rookie misses the free throw.
  • Knicks take a five-point lead into the second quarter.  No fifty point blowout tonight folks.

2nd Quarter:
  • Chris Duhon comes in.  He is going to be pretty cold after not playing for 11 games.
  • Barea comes back after only a one game absence when he rolled his ankle.
  • 11:04, Harrington is taking advantage of Nowitzki in the paint. 
  • Beaubois getting taken to the cup by Eddie House?  I didn’t even know House could drive the ball.
  • 9:42, Another basket for Nowitzki in the paint as the jump shot is not falling. 
  • 8:22, No offense to DeShawn but he is not the guy you want taking a mid-range jump shot when you are down by 11.
  • 7:33, Najera with the spin move and the score.  The double-team on Nowitzki freed up the paint.
  • Al Harrington already has 13 points for the night.  Going to chalk that up to not playing most of the second quarter with a true center.
  • 6:41, Dallas is taking and missing a ton of long- to mid-range jumpers.  That is directly opposite to what the Knicks are doing (attacking the paint hard on every possession).
  • 5:41, Barea with the three to cut the Knicks lead to 8.
  • 4:39, Nowitzki back at the line all thanks to attacking the paint.
  • Haven’t seen any zone yet from the Mavericks, sure it will show up at some point. 
  • Marion is leading the scoring charge in the second quarter.  He and Dirk both have 10.
  • The Knicks are currently shooting 60% from the field.  The Mavericks are still sticking with their smaller lineup.
  • 1:18, Barea knifes into the lane to cut the Knick lead to 8 again. 
  • Two turnovers end the quarter for the Mavericks.  They are lucky to only be down ten points after that.

3rd Quarter:
  • Knicks get an easy bucket to start the second half.  Lee follows it up with an uncontested dunk.
  • 10:26, Marion gets the shooters roll on one of his little flip shots. Mavericks aren’t getting any closer to the Knicks as they continue to fail on the defensive end.
  • Can’t believe Marion’s pump fake behind the three-point line actually gets defenders in the air. 
  • 8:42, Chandler picks up the and-1 on Dirk.  Nowitzki is notorious for not fouling hard enough when an opposing player is going up for a shot.
  • Marion is getting a bunch of touches in the paint, not leaving too many touches for anybody else.
  • 7:53, Just the way the night is going, Beaubois is immediately called for traveling after coming into the game.
  • Dallas continues to shoot threes even though they are only hovering around 23% for the game.  Move the ball around a bit, guys.
  • 5:19, Another sign you are having a bad night, Nowitzki bites on the McGrady pump fake and the basket goes.  That Gives the Knicks a 22-point lead. 
  • The Mavericks are utterly clueless on the David Lee pick and roll.  The Knicks have run the play at least five times as Lee keeps getting great looks.
  • What a role reversal for Dallas.  Going from a 50-point win just a couple of months ago to being down 25.
  • 1:51, Kidd adds another three to his total.  He is the only other Maverick to make a three.
  • Maybe Rick Carlisle should just have some fun with this one.  Let’s put Erick Dampier and Brendan Haywood in at the same time, see how it goes.  

4th Quarter:
  • Not much to talk about.  Mavericks have been down by as much as 30. 
  • 8:54, Barea gets away with way too much dribbling.  Hits a fall away jumper.
  • 15-21 from the line so far for Dallas, would be nice to have those six points.
  • Nowitzki gets a technical foul just to prove how frustrated he is.  Officiating has seemed a little out of whack but that is no excuse for the Maverick defense.
  • Matt Carroll actually drills a shot!  Silver Lining. 

Some Choice Statistics:

  • Rick Carlisle played for the Knicks during the ‘87-‘88 season.  He averaged only 2.8 points and 1.2 steals a game.
  • This is the third longest win streak in Mavericks history.  The longest was 17 games in the ‘06-‘07 season.
  • The last time the Knicks beat the Mavericks, January of ’06. The last time the Knicks beat the Mavericks in Dallas? 1999.

Final Thoughts:

  Even the best teams can take a night off (or if you are the Lakers, you can take three nights).