Dallas’ outside shooting was the difference as they come into Madison Square Garden and soundly defeat the Knicks 121-100. 

The Dallas Mavericks (11-11) defeated the New York Knicks (10-13) by a final score of 121 to 100. For New York, Julius Randle finished with 24 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while Immanuel Quickley finished with 23 points and six rebounds off the bench. For the Mavericks, Luka Doncic led the way with 30 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, while Tim Hardaway Jr joined him with 28 points, seven rebounds and eight made threes.

From the outset, this was a combination of Dallas’ heliocentric offense and New York’s defense coming together to hold things downs. Outside of Doncic and some occasional Dinwiddie drives, Dallas’s offense was sputtering for much of the start. Meanwhile, New York got some good looks off of Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett drives. For a moment, the Knicks looked like a good team and it seemed like another Dallas blowout was on the horizon.

Julius Randle was the star of New York’s offensive-minded trio, with 14 points in the first quarter. Randle looked aggressive against Dallas’s big men around the rim and when he was on the perimeter, he did a good job against the likes of Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie, attacking them and taking the ball to the basket. New York needed a big quarter from someone to carry the offense as Dallas was sputtering and Randle was that guy.

The second quarter saw the cracks in the armor, as Dallas bounced back into the game with some solid three-point shooting – a theme for the rest of the game. Dinwiddie got into the action with a few threes, while old friend Tim Hardaway Jr. stretched the New York defense with a few wide-open outside looks, highlighted by a four-point play to energize the Mavericks. Dallas, despite poor shooting in the half, was able to get back into the game after going down double-digits.

And then, in the second half, the Knicks’ strong start was just about up and the tailspin began. Offensively, the Knicks struggled to control the ball, let alone put the ball in the basket. Back-to-back turnovers by Brunson and Randle led to easy baskets by the Mavericks. Defensively, the Mavericks found some holes in New York’s defense, thanks to Hardaway Jr. catching fire from the outside. As Dallas’ offense continued to sputter for a bit, it was Hardaway who kept them afloat with several made threes.

Once the Mavericks got Hardaway’s shooting combined with an awoken Doncic, the Knicks went back into their shell. At one point, the Mavericks outscored the Knicks 29-9 in the third quarter. Dallas’ offense began to generate a ton of easy looks – Dinwiddie and Luka were found often attacking the paint, drawing two New York defenders, kicking out to a shooter, who would often find another shooter once New York would attempt to recover, wide open, for a successful look.

By the end of the third quarter, one the Knicks lost 41-15, the game was over. Dallas had all the momentum and New York’s energy was completely zapped. Boos were scattered throughout Madison Square Garden, Miles “Deuce” McBridge and Svi Mykhailuk got minutes in the early fourth quarter and the Knicks went early into the night. An early lead and a good Julius Randle start lost in time as the Mavericks ran amuck in Madison Square Garden and humiliated the Knicks.

Game Notes

  • Julius Randle had an even game. Offensively, he was the catalyst for everything in the first half, but as he continued to hold on to the ball, Dallas was smart and allowed him to get his shot attempts, which turned into bad Randle possessions. His defense was fine, but his first half was much better than his second half.
  • New York’s three-point defense was a mess today. The Mavericks went 24-of-61 (!) from the outside, which ultimately was the difference. Hardaway did an excellent job of attacking their defense, but Doncic hit a few, Dinwiddie got a couple and Maxi Kleber stretched New York’s defense with a few of his own. Once that went, Dallas’ bigs got several good looks at the rim. It was a tough effort tonight for New York’s defense.
  • Mitchell Robinson’s early game performance was great: not blocking shots, but doing a good job forcing Dallas’ drivers to think twice before attacking the rim. The second half was less impactful, due to Dallas shooting a ton of threes, but when the Mavericks did have to go inside, didn’t have much of an answer for Robinson at the rim.
  • I didn’t think RJ Barrett had a good game. A few impressive looks on the inside early, but Barrett was picked on a bit defensively, was lost off-ball defensively, and wasn’t pressed with the task of guarding any of Dallas’ action players. There was a level of aggression from RJ that just burned out by the start of the second half, leading Barrett to look lethargic as Dallas went on their monster run. Overall, I just want to see him play better on both ends and maintain it through several games.
  • Jalen Brunson also had an off-game. Defensively, the Mavericks knew exactly how to attack him and did so often, putting him in multiple pick-and-rolls with Doncic. Offensively, he was shaky, to say the least. The Mavericks attempt to keep the size on him, forcing him to tough turnaround jumpers and fadeaways in the middle of the floor. At the rim, his shot was not falling, suggesting it was an all-around struggle for the former Maverick tonight. I say, burn the tape on this game and regroup for the next time.

Final Thoughts

What an ugly loss for the Knicks. At this stage, everything has to be on the table. Head coach Tom Thibodeau did not cover himself in glory as the Knicks saw their small lead go from a deficit to the game evolving into an outright blowout. This team has no juice and it’s time for trades – plural.

The Knicks remain home at Madison Square Garden to host the Cleveland Cavaliers (15-8) on Sunday, December 4th. Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m.

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