NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 6 (All times eastern)
New York Knicks (18-19) at Dallas Mavericks (22-17), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Sharpshooter Steve Novak took some of the spotlight away from Jeremy Lin when the New York Knicks squared off with the defending champion Dallas Mavericks last month.
Novak blew up for 14 points and buried four three-pointers during the fourth quarter of a 104-97 win over the Mavericks on Feb. 19 at Madison Square Garden in front of a nationally-televised audience, but don't expect the same results when the two teams collide again tonight in Big D.
The Knicks have struggled to find consistency since a season-high seven-game winning streak, alternating wins and losses over their last seven contests. They opened a four-game road trip with a 115-111 overtime setback in Boston and couldn't solve Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who delivered his fourth triple-double of the season with 18 points, 20 assists and 17 rebounds. The Knicks had a 103-100 lead until Paul Pierce sent the game into overtime with a big three-pointer.
Carmelo Anthony led New York with 25 points and Amare Stoudemire posted 16 and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, who are 7-10 as the guest and three games behind Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division lead. Novak, Lin and Iman Shumpert had 14 points apiece in a losing effort. Lin explained New York's struggles after the game.
"They did a good job of controlling the paint," said Lin, who is averaging 21.7 points, 8.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.21 steals over his last 14 games. "They had me take a lot of tough shots. I didn't really get much easy stuff today."
New York has dropped its last 11 trips to Boston, and still has to face San Antonio and Milwaukee on the current road trip. Knicks center Tyson Chandler is expected to receive his championship ring from last season and helped Dallas to its first-ever NBA title before signing with New York.
Dallas has only two wins in its last eight games and suffered a 95-91 setback at Oklahoma City the last time out on Monday. Dirk Nowitzki shot 4-for-6 from three-point range en route to a team-high 27 points, while Jason Terry scored 18 points off the bench. Nowitzki posted a season-high 40 points in the previous game versus Utah, a 102-96 win at home.
Shawn Marion had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks, who suffered their fourth straight loss on the road.
"We made a run, but these are games we have to win," Terry said. "I'm very disappointed we didn't get it done tonight."
Mavericks starting center and leading rebounder Brendan Haywood left the game early in the first quarter with a sprained left ankle. He is questionable for tonight. Dallas has held its opponents to under 100 points in 17 of its last 18 games but is just 9-9 in that stretch.
After welcoming the Knicks to American Airlines Center, Dallas will hit the road for three games at Phoenix, Sacramento and Golden State. The Mavs are 14-7 as the host and sit four games behind the Spurs for the Southwest lead.
Despite losing to the Knicks in the Big Apple, the Mavs have won 17 of the previous 20 matchups between the teams. New York has lost 12 of 14 games in Big D and is seeking the first season sweep of Dallas since 1999-00.
03/06 10:48:02 ET