It was a back-and-forth battle early, but the Mavericks took hold after the first quarter and built a halftime lead into a sixteen-point rout of the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The opening period saw the Mavericks dart ahead by double digits behind a 15-2 run, only for the Knicks to storm back ahead with a 20-3 swing of their own. As the game progressed, though, Dallas was too active on the glass (10 offensive rebounds, 54 total) and from behind the arc (11-25 on three-pointers) for the Knicks to keep even, and the Mavs never relinquished a double-digit lead.
Danilo Gallinari (27 points) was magnificent on offense for the Knicks, but Amar'e Stoudemire was silent-- scoreless, in fact-- after a 21-point first half, and Toney Douglas (22) was the only other Knick to make more than half of his shots. New York's backcourt of Raymond Felton and Landry Fields was aggressive but frustratingly inaccurate with the ball, shooting a combined 6-25 on the evening. Timofey Mozgov, in the first game following his breakout performance against the Pistons, was solid defensively, but mistake-prone on the other end.
The Mavericks, meanwhile, won on the virtues of Dirk Nowitzki (29 points), who hit one after another difficult shot and drew help away from shooters like DeShawn Stevenson and J.J. Barea.
The Knicks hope to rebound in a crucial home-and-home weekend with the Philadelphia 76ers, who sit just three games behind them in the Eastern Conference standings.
See Posting and Toasting for more Knicks coverage.