Behind 25 points from Dirk Nowitzki, it was all but smooth sailing for the Dallas Mavericks (13-9) en route to their 13th win of the season. Having led by as much as 23 points in the second half, the 4th quarter got all too close for comfort. The Mavs ultimately held off the final frame rally to pick up the 104-97 road win over the much improved New York Knicks (10-12).
Wesley Matthews three point barrage on Sunday night seemed to be contagious to everyone else last night, as the Mavericks came out of the gates firing from distance. They were able to hit 11 of their 20 three point attempts (55%) as they built a 13 point halftime lead. Dirk and D-Will had it going with 16 points a piece in the first two frames.
The Mavs offense continued to do much of the same, as they blew open a 23 point lead in the 3rd quarter, only to see the sky fall in the 4th. The Knicks prized rookie Kristaps Porzingis lead the late push, bringing the Knicks to within four with a minute remaining in the game. The Mavs were able to close the door to seal the win on the second night of a back to back. Here’s what we learned:
Dirk still owns the Garden:
The Madison Square Garden is by far Dirk’s best arena to play in, as he has a career average of 26 ppg in the building. He did what he usually does in New York, as he lead the Mavs with 25 points on 9/18 (50%) shooting. He continues his hot start to the season, and is flirting with 50/40/90 early on.
DWill, the 5.4 million dollar steal:
Deron Williams seems to be finding his groove with the Mavs, with another solid offensive performance tonight. He had 20 points on 7/15 shooting and 7 dimes to go along. His play so far this season is proving to be worth far more than a mere 5.4 million dollars.
Kristaps is worthy of Dirk comp:
The 7’3 rookie from Latvia is proving he is deserving of a comparison to our fellow European. He lead all scorers in the game 28 points on 13/18 shooting.
Player of the Game:
DIRK. Seriously, will we ever see Dirk have a bad season? He seems to be defying father time at the ripe age of 37, and continues to lead the Mavs in scoring.
Dirk Nowitzki on Porzingis: “He’s probably way ahead of the curve. When I was 20, I was scared to death out there. … He’s almost averaging a double-double, so he’s way better than I was at 20. So the comparison’s probably unfair to me.”
Kristaps Porzingis on Nowitzki: “Obviously, he’s showing some respect to me. That shows me that maybe I have the potential to one day be as great as he is. I’ve got to keep working, and hopefully, I can be as good as he thinks I can be.”
Rick Carlisle: “Porzingis is a special player, and the city of New York has Phil Jackson to thank for that one. There were others that didn’t have the balls to pull the trigger on that one, and he’s a great young player who’s got a chance to be truly special.”
The Mavs head home to host the Atlanta Hawks (13-9) Wednesday night. It begins a much needed stretch of home games, as the Mavs will play 7 of their next 10 games in the AAC.
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