Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points Tuesday to lead the Mavericks over the visiting Knicks, 95-85. Despite the final score, the game was actually close down the stretch, with the Knicks clawing back from a 19-point hole in the second half to briefly take a one-point lead with five minutes remaining. Dallas scored the next 14 points, however, and Nowitzki finished the quarter with 11 points to put the game on ice.
With the Mavericks missing Brendan Haywood to a sprained ankle, the Knicks were able to score 44 points in the paint. Amar'e Stoudemire led New York with 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting to go with seven rebounds. Jeremy Lin struggled shooting the ball, finishing 4-of-13 from the field, but still managed to score 14 points with seven assists. Tyson Chandler, who received his 2010-11 NBA championship ring before the game, had a quiet homecoming with just six points and eight rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony was never able to get on track, playing less than 31 minutes while scoring a paltry six points on 2-of-12 shooting. Mike D'Antoni opted to leave his star forward on the bench for the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter, during which time the Knicks eliminated an 11-point deficit and briefly took the lead. Anthony's return coincided with the bulk of Dallas' game-clinching run.