Well, that was one for the "PRODUCT OF LOCKOUT" file, to be sealed and never opened again. The Knicks and Mavericks played a hideously sloppy game of basketball, each swinging wildly from semi-competence to abject slapstick throughout the evening. Both teams shot below 40 percent from the field, both experienced massive scoring droughts, and both lost the game. Well, actually, the Mavericks won, but only by the technicality of having more points than the Knicks did.
The game appeared to be out of hand from the outset. Dirk Nowitzki struggled to score for the Mavs (thanks in large part to solid defense by Amar'e Stoudemire, oddly enough), but the Dallas shooters and bench players (led by 18 points from Rodrigue Beaubois) carried Dallas to a quick double-digit lead. Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony, and pretty much every other Knick option but Stoudemire failed to produce, but a nice run in the late second quarter cut the Dallas lead to six at halftime.
After the break, the Mavericks began to roll once more. Nowitzki and Stoudemire went back-and-forth, with the former vastly outperforming the latter. Nowitzki finally started to reach the net with his off-balance jump shots, while Stoudemire's inside attempts became rushed and inaccurate. Dallas went ahead by as many as 18 points and appeared to have the game fully in hand.
The fourth quarter got ridiculous, though. New York's second unit (plus Stoudemire) locked down defensively and mounted a 15-0 comeback to unbelievably take the lead. Dallas, of course, responded with a giant run of their own and, thanks to Nowitzki, raced back ahead by double digits and ended up winning 95-85.
Nowitzki finished with 28 points despite-- no joke-- seriously solid defense from Stoudemire, while Amar'e himself broke out of a slump to lead the Knicks with 26. Anthony, meanwhile, had one of his worst shooting nights (2-12) in recent memory and finished with just six points in 31 minutes. He also drew the ire of everybody watching by throwing away an inbound pass while talking to and looking directly at Shawn Marion. Not his best night.
The win was a welcome departure from recent events for the Mavs and moved them to 25-17, while the Knicks fell further below .500, to 18-20, with the loss.