Dallas, TX — Both the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks held a 2-6 record when they met for Friday’s match-up. Both teams were looking to create some momentum and get a much-needed win.
The Knicks defensive scheme was tasked with shutting down DeAndre Jordan and Luca Doncic early in the first quarter. And, after forcing three turnovers in the paint, the Mavericks offense struggled with ball movement and rebounding.
In what seems to be a running trend for the past six games for Dallas, another opponent went off in the opening period. New York scored over 30 points on the Mavs to snag an early lead.
“You can’t win like that in this league,” shared a frustrated Jordan after the game. “When you give up 30 points in the quarters, it’s tough to come back from that. We’ve seen that six games in a row.”
With a heavy emphasis on sharing the ball, the Knicks saw multiple players score en route to 33 points in the first frame. Dallas was only a few points behind though, with 27. Harrison Barnes contributed with nine of those points. The Knicks were successful in boxing out Jordan and Doncic, holding the two to a combined two points.
But, the Mavs bench came to the rescue in the second stanza. Maxi Kleber showed off his versatility getting to the paint for a quick four points to start the second. Not long after, Dennis Smith Jr. drilled a three-pointer to give Dallas the lead, 38-37.
Finally, the Mavs offense was clicking on all cylinders and entered intermission with the 59-56 lead. But, the Knicks came out energized in the third and created chaos in the paint and around the perimeter. For the second time in the game, New York erupted offensively, outscoring Dallas 33-18 in the frame.
The Mavs started to fall apart with missed free-throws and shot clock violations – the Knicks capitalized every time. New York’s bench was huge in the frame as they helped grab a 12-point advantage, 89-77, going into the fourth.
“Trust, we were communicating better, we executed our coverage better… We played really hard,” shared the Knicks Head Coach David Fizdale on how his team locked down the Mavs in the third.
At the start of the last 12 minutes of regulation, the Mavs were faced with trying to do damage control with stopping the Knicks drives to the paint. After a host of fouls — due to Dallas’ sloppy defense – and turnovers (19 overall), it appeared the Mavs could not find any form of cohesion on either end of the court.
This contributed to New York’s bench scoring 65 points of their final score of 118. Dallas dropped its sixth straight match-up 118-106.
After a tough week, the Mavs will need to focus during practice in order to take on the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Mental toughness seems to be key to a team that has a young core that needs to focus on communication throughout the game. If those aspects are not improved upon, Dallas will find themselves in a precarious position down a difficult path to win more than 40 games this season.