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Anthony's strong first quarter sparks Knicks over Mavericks

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The Canadian Press
1/5/2014 10:25:24 PM
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DALLAS -- Carmelo Anthony gave the Knicks an early lead and his New York teammates made it stand up.

Anthony scored 15 of his 19 points in the first quarter to lead five Knicks -- three of them reserves -- in double figures and New York held off a late rally to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 92-80 Sunday night.

New York led by as many as 19 points and held on when the Mavericks got within six in the last minute and a half to finish 2-1 on a four-day trip through Texas.

"It's been a successful trip," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We lose a two-point game in Houston in which we had an opportunity to win. We played great in San Antonio. And to come in here and beat Dallas, who's playing well at home and playing well this season, it should be a boost for our team."

Kenyon Martin scored a season-high 14 points, starter Andrea Bargnani had in 13, Amare Stoudemire added 11 and Tim Hardaway scored eight of his 10 in the fourth quarter.

In addition, Beno Udrih had eight assists, Iman Shumpert scored seven points in the last 2 minutes and J.R. Smith had seven points and seven rebounds.

"I thought our bench was fantastic, and we are going to need our bench to play like they played tonight," Woodson said.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle agreed.

"Everybody on their team played well. Name a guy that didn't."

Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Mavericks, who lost their fourth consecutive home game. Their previous low score had been 87 points twice this season. The Knicks had allowed a season-low 78 in a victory at Chicago on Dec. 11.

Anthony scored six points during a 12-0 run in the first that gave the Knicks a 24-13 lead. He also led New York with four rebounds, three assists and two steals in the quarter. He finished with seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

After that, Dallas' Shawn Marion picked up his man-to-man defence on Anthony.

He didn't score in the second quarter, but the Knicks still outscored the Mavericks 23-18 for a 52-35 halftime lead. Bargnani had seven points in the second.

"I sprained my (right) ankle on the second play of the game," Marion said, "and I hurt my Achilles a little bit.

"I decided I had to make it hard for (Anthony). I was able to help the team after that."

In the third quarter, Martin scored six points in a 1:13 span that gave New York a 58-39 lead. He returned after missing Friday's game at Houston because of a sore left ankle.

"It was a little tender," Martin said, "but I knew Tyson (Chandler) was under the weather. At that point, it was mind over matter."

Martin filled in after starting centre Chandler left because of illness, and had 10 of the Knicks' 15 points in the quarter.

"I didn't even know if Kenyon was going to play tonight," Woodson said. "We needed all of Kenyon tonight to carry this win."

The Mavericks had shot 36 per cent (13 for 36) from the field in the first half and were 0 for 8 on 3-pointers. Dallas missed 8 of 17 free throws, including four by Nowitzki. He was 3 for 7 from the field and 5 for 9 from the foul line to finish with 11 points and seven rebounds in the half.

The 35 points were the Mavericks' fewest in the first half this season. The Hawks held them to 34 in the second half of an 88-87 loss at Atlanta Nov. 29.

The Mavericks rallied from the 19-point deficit at 58-39 with an 18-7 run that reduced New York's lead to eight.

That run followed a blistering timeout message from Carlisle.

"We didn't play well defensively. We made a very poor showing in the first half. I didn't have them ready. I will take the blame," Carlisle said.

The third quarter ended 67-57.

Dallas pulled within six at 84-78 with 1:33 to play on Monta Ellis' jump shot. Shumpert came back with a 3-pointer.

"Melo found me when I was open," Shumpert said. "I think they just forgot about me, left me over there. When you're wide open, you just got to knock it down."

It was Shumpert's only successful 3-pointer in three attempts against Dallas, but he was 13 for 17 (76 per cent) in the three Texas games.

For Dallas, Ellis and Vince Carter scored 13 points, Jose Calderon had 12 and DeJuan Blair added 11.

"They got hot early, and we didn't really start till late," Mavericks rookie guard Shane Larkin said. "Late in the game, we didn't really have any legs."

NOTES: Chandler left because of an upper respiratory illness after playing the first 4:25. . Metta World Peace was not with the Knicks for the fourth consecutive game. He has said he would undergo platelet-rich plasma therapy Monday in New York. New York coach Mike Woodson said, "We'll know more when we get back." . This was just the fourth time the Knicks have won as many as two games in 14 three-game trips to Texas. . Carter played in his 1,100th NBA game. . Nowitzki had one steal, leaving him one short of 1,000 for his career. . Center Samuel Dalembert was benched for one game because he was late for practice Saturday. He said he hasn't been able to sleep at night, and "I'm taking steps to make sure that doesn't happen again."

Carmelo Anthony (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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