Dallas welcomes back former Mavericks as Knicks visit on ESPN



DALLAS – The Mavericks look to get out of their funk and try to showcase their high-octane offense on a national stage as the New York Knicks come to town for an ESPN match up starting at 6:30.

Dallas (10-5) dropped its second-straight as the Indiana Pacers completely surprised the Mavs, 111-100 Monday night.

Indiana started five different players from a year ago after Roy Hibbert sat out due to a nagging injury. Donald Sloan scored 29 points to led the Pacers while Dirk Nowitzki did his best to keep the team in it with his second double-double of the season, 22 points and 11 boards.

Averaging a league-high 109 points per game, the Mavs look to improve on the defensive side, allowing 99.6 points (15th).

The Mavericks have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season after falling in Houston on Saturday in Chandler Parsons’ return. Dallas struggled from the field and finished the game poorly.

Nowitzki continues to climb up all time lists, this time passing Oscar Robertson for 16th in field goals made, against Indiana.

New York (4-11) couldn’t keep up with Houston in the fourth Monday night, falling 91-86. Carmelo Anthony was the only double-digit scorer with 14 points while all 12 Knicks scored.

The Knicks may be without Anthony when they visit American Airlines Center, but the Mavericks need to get off to a quick start and take advantage of every opportunity given.

Jose Calderon led the Knicks in assists against Houston and makes his return to Dallas, along with Shane Larkin and Samuel Dalembert after the three were traded this summer for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton.

The trio spent one year in Dallas, helping the Mavericks reach the postseason and nearly defeating the San Antonio Spurs in seven games.

Dalembert played in 80 games (68 starts) while averaging 6.6 points, 6.8 rebounds on 56.8 percent shooting. Calderon played and started 81 games, averaging 11.4 points and 4.7 assists, including 44.9 percent shooting from downtown. Larkin saw limited time in his rookie season, playing in 48 games while averaging just 10 minutes per.

New York ranks 25th in points scored, 28th in rebounds and 14th in assists per game. At 99 points per game, the Knicks rank 13th in points allowed.

Dallas leads the NBA with 35 alley-oop dunks, 11 more than the Los Angeles Clippers and more than 16 teams combine. The Mavericks have the most efficient offense through 15 games since 1997, thanks to Chandler who is tied for the league lead with 21 lob dunks (DeAndre Jordan). Chandler didn’t get his 21st lob until Feb. 5 in New York last season, who have just one lob dunk all season. The Mavs are on pace for 191 lob dunks, which would shatter the Clippers record last season (169). (Via Tom Haberstroh)

Brandan Wright gets better and better as he’s increased his NBA-lead in field goal percentage to 8o percent. Chandler sits comfortably at 69.7 percent, good for third in the league.

Felton finished his four-game suspension Saturday, but was inactive against the Pacers. Rick Carlisle won’t bring Felton back until he proves he is healthy and in shape for real game action.

The two teams split last season’s series with the road team winning each game.

Dallas couldn’t find a groove as the Mavericks fell 92-80 on Jan. 5. Anthony led with 19 points, seven boards, five assists and three steals while the Knicks held Dallas to just 35 first-half points. Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 18 points and nine boards. Monta Ellis added 13 points.

19 days later, Anthony dropped 44 points at Madison Square Garden, but Nowitzki had the last laugh with a game-winner over Anthony as time expired.

The Mavericks sit in the sixth spot out West and are 6-2 at home. They’re 4-2 against the East this season while the Knicks are 2-8 in their last 10 and are 1-6 on the road.