Dallas Mavericks use team effort to take down Knicks

Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Madison Square Garden welcomed in the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday evening. Dallas looked to avenge its loss from earlier in the season.

Frank Sinatra played in the background as a graphic of Luka Doncic was displayed during the Fox Sports Southwest pregame show. During the thirty minute broadcast, Dirk Nowitzki‘s past scoring success in Madison Square was discussed, as well as the seemingly inevitable Luka Doncic marvel of a performance. The Dallas Mavericks were set up for a memorable night.

Speaking of Luka’s debut in the Garden, Mavs color commentary Derek Harper alluded to the big lights of the legendary arena pressuring players to overexert in one-on-one situations rather than staying in the confines of the team’s focus. Luka, to a certain extent, did just that in the first quarter.

Doncic’s first shot attempt was an airball, causing the rookie to laugh, which is honestly the expected reaction from a pressure-immune 19-year-old marvel of a player. Instead of allowing a typically demoralizing shot to defer to the rowdy NY crowd, he continued to test the defense. Despite capitalizing on a breakaway dunk, Luka finished 2-7 in the first quarter. Dallas clung on to a not so secure 24-20 lead concluding the first quarter.

There were times in the game where it wasn’t clear which team was the holder of a miserable10-39 record. The ball was getting sloppy and the Mavs needed a spark plug to get out of the Carlisle-enraged rut. It was only fitting the play of the one-leg-in, one-leg-out of the NBA Dirk Nowitzki was able to give the Garden a mini nine-point scoring burst.

For as much focus as Luka Doncic gets, although rightfully so, it’s easy to forget about the potential of Dennis Smith Jr. DSJ wasn’t afraid of the moment, and perhaps the presence of a friend, and fellow Fayetteville native, hip hop artist J. Cole, was the additional inspiration needed to impose his will Wednesday night.

In light of the DSJ trade rumor saga, it was encouraging to see DSJ coexist within the Mavs offense while simultaneously grabbing the game by the horns. Dennis is often criticized for his lack of vision and willingness to focus on creating for others. However, Wednesday night was the polar opposite for the sophomore point guard.

Between the triple-double from DSJ, Dirk’s season-high 14-point performance, and Wesley Matthews 5-9 three-point shooting clip, the Knicks weren’t a match for the Mavs. Besides, you knew the game was over when the crowd let out the loudest eruption as Enes Kanter walked onto the court late in the third quarter.

The Dallas Mavericks win in convincing fashion 114-90.

Interesting stats and moments

  • 13 points-10 rebounds-career high 15 assists triple-double for Dennis Smith
  • Luka’s one-handed shot clock buzzer beater
  • Dirk being Dirk with a three-point shot late in the game

Luka, despite not finishing with the best stat line, gave NY some flashy moments.

Dallas can’t afford to focus too much on getting over a 10-win team, the playoff-hungry Detroit Pistons await the Mavericks Thursday night. Tune in for the game at 6:00 central time to see the Mavs attempt a road-road back-to-back win.