Knicks Get Drubbed By Mavericks At Garden

Published on: 27th January, 2010

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NEW YORK — It was a record-setting performance at Madison Square Garden today. Unfortunately for Knicks fans, it was based more on the home teams’ futility and not on anything even remotely positive as the Dallas Mavericks, minus two starters, crushed the New Yorkers 128-78 on Sunday.

Drew Gooden, coming off the bench in place of the injured Erick Dampier, scored 15 points and had 18 rebounds, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry each scored 20 points, as the Mavs defeated the Knicks for the eighth straight time. Dallas put on an amazing shooting display as they hit for 58 percent from the field, including 12 of 22 from three point land and 16 of 17 from the foul line.

Todays’ blowout topped the 43-point loss to Charlotte on Martin Luther King Day in 2002. It’s the second-worst Knicks loss ever, with their 62-point defeat in Syracuse in 1960 still standing as the franchise’s ultimate loss.

Jose Barea replaced point guard Jason Kidd in the lineup and scored 11 points, and rookie Rodrique Beaubois backed him up with 13.

Kidd left the team following Friday’s 92-81 loss in Philadelphia to return to Dallas, with owner Mark Cuban saying before the game that it was for family reasons. Center Dampier was out with a left knee injury but Gooden, a longtime starter in the league, more than outplayed his Knicks counterpart, center David Lee.

Lee, averaging over 21 points and almost 15 rebounds per game over his last five games, finished with 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Knicks lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Lee was embarrassed afterwards as he explained his emotional state watching the end of the game from the Knicks bench.

“I was just hoping they wouldn’t score a couple more points in a row and we’d be down 60,” Lee said.

When Dallas’ James Singleton soared for a vicious putback slam with 3:07 left, the Mavericks got up 53 points, 122-69, and the Syracuse record looked like it had a chance to fall.

Dallas led 27-25 after one, as Jared Jeffries exploded for 12 points, the best quarter of his career. It was a six-point game midway through the second before Beaubois made two 3-pointers and Nowitzki knocked down a jumper for his only field goal of the half to make it 50-36 with 3:15 left.

Dallas made eight of its first 11 attempts – the Knicks started 1 of 11_ from behind the arc, including Terry’s that increased the lead to 17 with 1:20 remaining in the half. The Mavs led 59-43 at the break. The second half was like a jailhouse break for the Mavs as they outscored the Knicks, 69-35 over the final 24 minutes, which couldn’t end soon enough for the Knicks.

“It’s hard to comment on this game, it was so bad – bad in every area,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said.

The Knicks (17-26) have now lost six of eight games and may be reverting back to the true talent level and nature of this franchise. Another coach in this town was famous for saying, “You are what your record says you are.” If the Knicks fans are watching their team of late, it would make Bill Parcells’ view of their team decidedly mediocre.  

The sickly Knicks were 4 of 25 from the 3-point line and shot 33.7 percent.

D’Antoni was hoping after the game that his team’s performance was simply an anomaly and not typical of where they are headed with 39 games remaining in a season that still retains hopes for a playoff berth. Asked if his players hustled at optimal levels, he cracked, “I hope not because if it was there, we’re in trouble.”

If they aren’t yet in trouble, it can be said that Chris Duhon (2 of 7, 4 points) is coming close to being described in that way. The point guard, who has shown how important the quality of his play can affect the Knicks has run into another bad spurt of shooting and confidence reduction.  

“It was bad by everybody,” Lee said. “If we win by 50 I wouldn’t say we’re the best team in the East. We lost by 50 points, we’re not the worst team in basketball.”

Said Chandler, “You don’t expect to lose by this much. They kept their foot on our necks.”

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