NBA: Mavericks roll to biggest win, crush Knicks 128-78
AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks rolled to the biggest win in franchise history, ignoring the absence of two starters to crush the New York Knicks 128-78 today.
Drew Gooden stepped into the lineup with 15 points and 18 rebounds, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry each scored 20 points, and the Mavericks put on a shooting clinic in beating the Knicks for the eighth straight time. Dallas shot 58 percent from the field, was 12 of 22 from beyond the arc and 16 of 17 from the foul line.
The Mavericks led by as much as 53 and outscored the Knicks 70-31 over the middle two quarters on the way to bettering their 149-104 victory over Golden State on Jan. 15, 1985.
Jose Barea replaced point guard Jason Kidd in the lineup and scored 11 points, and rookie Rodrique Beaubois backed him up with 13.
The Knicks owned the previous largest lead in the NBA this season when they led Indiana by 48 points three weeks ago, but they offered no resistance to the Mavs on Sunday in the second-worst loss in franchise history.
Already leading by 16 at halftime, the Mavs made 15 of 19 shots (79 percent) in the third quarter. Nowitzki was only 1 of 6 for seven points at the half, then scored 13 in the third on 5-of-6 shooting before the starters took a seat for good.
Kidd left the team following Friday's 92-81 loss in Philadelphia to return to Dallas, with owner Mark Cuban saying it was for a family reason. Erick Dampier was inactive with a left knee injury but was easily replaced by Gooden, who badly outplayed Knicks All-Star hopeful David Lee in the middle.
Lee finished with 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Knicks lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Dallas led 27-25 after one, with the Knicks staying close behind 12 points from Jared Jeffries, 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.
Barea drove into the lane unimpeded for layups at least twice in the third quarter as the Knicks appeared to simply stop trying. It was an embarrasing effort lowlighted when Jeffries botched a layup on the break and the ball was batted off his head out of bounds on the rebound.