NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 19: Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks is guarded by Lamar Odom #7 of the Dallas Mavericks and Dominique Jones #20 of the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden on February 19, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Unlikely heroes Jeremy Lin, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak helped the Knicks keep the world champs at bay.
The Knicks are fun to watch again. Jeremy Lin helped New York overcome a third-quarter dip to beat the Mavericks 104-97 on Sunday afternoon. Steve Novak and Lin combined for six three-pointers in the fourth quarter to propel the Knicks to victory.
Once again, Lin was a terror -- scoring 28 points to go with 14 assists. And this time he did it against one of the top defenses in the NBA. Only three teams are more efficient defensively than the Mavericks, who allow opponents less than 96 points per 100 possessions.
Six other Knicks finished in double figures, including J.R. Smith, who has not practiced with the team since signing on Friday. New York has now won eight of its last nine games and sits at .500 with a 16-16 record.
Dirk Nowitzki caught fire in the third quarter and looked like he would will the Mavs to a win, but his 34 points (including 4-5 from three) weren't enough.