Mavericks look to ride scoring outburst into tilt vs. Knicks (Jan 25, 2017)

BY AP • January 24, 2017

The Dallas Mavericks are coming off a historic win. The New York Knicks were a blown finish away from declaring this season history.

Two teams searching for a spark collide Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks (15-29) pasted the Los Angeles Lakers by 49 points on Sunday, simultaneously setting a Dallas franchise record for the largest margin of victory and worst loss ever by the Lakers.

The Mavericks made 17 3-pointers, shot 49.4 percent from the floor and out-rebounded Los Angeles 49-32.

"We did some good things," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We rebounded pretty well and the ball was going in the basket."

Dallas had seven players in double figures in the 122-73 blowout, including four starters. Leading scorer Harrison Barnes was the only first teamer who failed to reach at least 10 points.

Second-year guard Justin Anderson, a forgotten man in the rotation lately, led the Mavericks with 19 points in 16 minutes off the bench. He hadn't played more than six minutes in a game since December.

"It's been hard, but I want to continue to remain humble," Anderson said. "This may be the best thing that could happen to me. I want to be optimistic and continue to work hard on my game, and continue to grow. I know who I am. Just remain humble and make sure I maximize my potential."

The Mavericks have won four of their last six and split their last 18 games overall. They hope momentum from Sunday carries over into the finale of a three-game homestand.

Dallas is 9-12 at home this season.

"Right now we are in a spot where we have to dig ourselves out a hole that we dug ourselves in earlier in the season," Deron Williams said. "We have to be more aggressive on both sides of the floor and get some more wins."

The Knicks (20-26) were ready to call it a season had they lost Monday. New York held on to beat Indiana 109-103 by scoring the final six points.

The last burst was especially needed, considering the Knicks had lost three of their previous four games despite holding leads in the final minute.

"We lose another one like that, guys probably would've quit, called it a year probably," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said.

That admission wasn't hyperbole for a team dealing with its share of drama. Whether it's Carmelo Anthony's future or Derrick Rose's whereabouts or anything with Phil Jackson, something is always going on.

That's why beating the Pacers was so important.

"I don't even want to think about that if this one had gotten away," said Anthony, who scored a team-high 26.

The Knicks handled Dallas 93-77 in New York back in November to snap a five-game losing streak in the series. Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis were the game-high scorers with 24 points. Porzingis added 11 rebounds. Barnes led the Mavericks with 20 points.

Porzingis is looking forward to the matchup against one the players he's often compared to in Dirk Nowitzki.

"I remember the last time I played him was at the Garden last season and he came out and made like five straight five shots in my face," Porzingis said. "With that guy, you have to be careful. He can shoot from anywhere at any time, and it's really hard to guard him.

"This time, I'll try to come out a little more ready to run through screens to get to him. But it will definitely be a challenge. Hopefully, I can have some fun."

The Mavericks have won 24 of the last 30 meetings against New York.



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