Rapid Fire: Mavs Survive Scare From Porzingis and Knicks

The Mavs survived a late scare from the rookie Porzingis and the Knicks but escaped New York with a 104-97 victory. Our Rapid Fire Notebook ...


1. The Mavs came into Monday night’s game against the Knicks playing their second game in as many nights and looking to return home with a two-game win streak in tow. Dallas dominated the majority of the game, and despite a late scare from the Knicks, Dallas was able to get out of the Big Apple with that second straight win by a 104-97 score.


2. In his career, Dirk is averaging more points per game (25.7) in Madison Square Garden than in any other road venue that he has played in his 17-year career. On Monday it was more of the same for the Big German as he hit nine-of-18 from the floor en route to a 25-point performance. 


Dirk also taught the Knicks young rookie, Kristaps Porzingis a thing or two about a thing or two. ... while praising the kid.

"He's for real,'' Dirk said. "He's probably way ahead of the curve. When I was 20, I was scared to death out there. ... He's almost averaging a double-double, so he's way better than I was at 20. So the comparison's probably unfair to me."

3. Dirk -- always the Politely Ruthless one -- isn’t the only Mav who enjoys playing in the Big Apple, however. Coming off of a poor shooting night against the Wizards, Deron Williams had an exceptional game of his own, scoring 20 points on 46-percent shooting, and dishing out seven dimes in the process. 


4. The first quarter ended with the Mavs leading the Knicks 34-28 behind hot outside shooting from Dallas. The Mavs had four different players hit from beyond the arc, including two apiece from CP and Williams. 

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating:  when the Mavs are shooting the ball well, they are a very tough team to beat. 


5. Reinforcements arrived for the Mavs on Monday with Dwight Powell, CP and JaVale McGee returning to action against the Knicks. With Devin Harris and J.J. Barea missing the game due to injury, John Jenkins would get some more minutes in their absence. The returns of Powell and CP in particular however, provided a much-needed boost to the Mavs offense. 

Jenkins, in case you have forgotten the preseason, can still shoot it.



6. Chandler Parsons' new role off the bench seems to be paying dividends so far for Dallas.

 With his new ‘sixth man’ job, Parsons is now available more in the second half of games, which is a major help when things get little bit tighter late in the game. 

It could be a winning formula for Dallas if Ray Felton can keep his current form, at least until CP is off of his minutes cap later in the season. 

CP finished Monday’s game with nine points in 25 minutes of action.


7. The second period of action was more of the same for the Mavs, as they continued their strong shooting. The Mavs outscored the Knicks 29-22 in the quarter, giving them a 63-50 lead at the break. The 63 first-half points for Dallas was a season-high for the Mavs, outdoing their previous mark of 58 points at Sacramento last week.


8. The Mavs seem to have (at least for now) put their three-point shooting woes behind them. Coming off of a 51.6-percent three-point performance as a team against the Wizards, Dallas shot 42 percent from the beyond the arc here.

 For Mavs fans, this has been a taste of what the Mavs brain trust of Cuban, Donnie and Carlisle envisioned when they put this team together over the summer. 


9. It’s not just three-point shooting that has put the Mavs in position to win over the last two nights, however. Defense and rebounding have both played major factors in the two victories for Dallas as well. 

Considering these two areas of the game were thought to be weaknesses for the Mavs coming into the year, it is very encouraging to see the Mavs do both a high level, especially on back-to-back nights. 


10. The Knicks are a much-improved basketball team from last year. They have a known offensive commodity in Melo, as well as some good shooters around him in Aaron Afflalo and Jose Calderon. The Knicks also possess a nice young rookie combo Jerian Grant and Kristaps Porzingis to build around for the future. With 10 wins so far this season, the Knicks have already won as many games as they had by February 1st of last season. 


11. A lot of the Knicks improvement is also due to a young Latvian named Kristaps Porzingis, who was averaging 14 points, 9.2 boards and 1.9 blocks per game in his rookie campaign. He’s 7’3” with moves and handles like a small forward on the perimeter. Porzingis garners a lot of comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki, due to his silky smooth jumpshot, and a nice turnaround jumper. Porzingis also had a similar frame to Dirk coming into the league, as he needs to put on weight to avoid being pushed around at the NBA level. 


That being said, man, is he exciting to watch. The rookie nearly tore the Mavs' heart out in the fourth quarter, scoring 28 points on the night, while getting the Knicks back in the game with 12 in the fourth quarter. Porzingis finished the game with 28 points on 13-of-18 shooting. 


Look out NBA; Big Daddy K is here to stay. And again, look at the smiling respect above.


12. The D-Will/Dirk combination has been a real treat to watch this season. The duo plays very well together off the pick-and-roll, and has really been the focal point of the Mavs offensive attack so far this season. The combo combined for 45 points in the game, and when these two are playing like they did at the Garden on Monday, the rest of the roster tends to feed off of their confidence and follow suit. 


13. After a season-best performance against Washington on Sunday, Wes Matthews came back down to earth against the Knicks. The Iron Man scored 10 points, handed out four assists and had three steals as well. 

Wes would be the first to tell you that it wasn’t he best game, but his teammates were able to pick up the slack. 

Wes will look to rebound against a tough Hawks squad on Wednesday night in Dallas. 


14. After leading by as many as 23 points in the third quarter, the Mavs let the Knicks cut the lead down to 13 points at one point. After a time out the Mavs got back to business however, extending the lead back out to 16 points. Heading into the fourth, the Mavs would lead at 88-72, thanks to a strong closing effort from Felton and Dwight Powell.  


15. Despite a scary Knicks run late, the Mavs would take home a 104-97 win over a Knicks squad that simply looked overwhelmed on the defensive end for the majority of the game. Dallas lost its juice a bit in the fourth quarter, but was able to close things out thanks to some boneheaded basketball by Melo.



The Dirkie/Player of the game: The Big Daddy Tall Baller From The G. Dirk had 25 to go along with six boards as he continued his dominance on the Knicks home court. Head over to the DB.com message boards and give us your choice for the Dirkie!


Stat(s) of the night: Shooting. Despite a subpar fourth quarter, the Mavs shot well again from downtown, hitting around 42 percent from three on the night. This is the second game in a row in which the Mavs have shot well from behind the arc, and in both games it has proved to be the difference in the outcome. 


This game was over when... Carmelo started shooting instead of Porzingis. Porzingis was on fire until Melo decided to jack up a couple of bad shots, and it killed the Knicks in the final moments of the game. 


Should have seen coming... Dirk in the Garden. It’s a thing and we’ve all known about it for a while, but Dirk always gets his in NYC.


Couldn't see coming... Porzingis. We officially have a basketball crush on this guy. Porzingis took advantage of the Mavs' weakness on defense, and scored 28 points on 72-percent shooting on the night. 

Meanwhile, Down on The Farm ... The Legends knew they were in for some tests this weekend as they had a set of back-to-back road games against the defending D-League champion, Santa Cruz Warriors. Texas was able to secure a split of the weekend road series and is about ready to come home. 

The Legends will be in Boise on Wednesday to play the Stampede and then will conclude their week with a set of back-to-back games on their home floor. The first game will be against the Warriors on Friday. They will then host the Sioux Falls Skyforce the following day. Both games will tip off at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco at 7:00 p.m. CT. Get tickets to this weekends games by visiting TexLegends.com/Tickets ... or, if you can't attend, check out our man Fish (with R.J. Choppy) on the telecasts on Texas 47 .... And if you want to get the latest Texas Legends merchendise? Visit TexLegendsShop.com for all the latest gear. New to the site, authentic Game Worn Jerseys! The only place to get Legends Game Worn Jerseys is here!


What's next?: The Mavs are off today from practice but are will home to face the Atlanta Hawks and their ridiculous new uniforms at 8:30pm Wednesday at the AAC.


The Final Word: “It’s been tough traveling-wise. We’ve been all over the shop, and we’re looking forward to settling down at home a little bit.'' - Dirk. 

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