Monday, March 10, 2008

Mavs overpower Knicks by 29

The Mavericks completed a home sweep of the Big Apple’s area teams by handling New York 108-79 Monday night before 20,203 fans at American Airlines Center. Coupled with the 20-point beating of New Jersey two nights prior, Dallas outran the two Eastern Conference lightweights by 49 points.

“Right now, we’re just looking to get into a good rhythm,” Avery Johnson said. “We need to play well and try to win as many of these games as we can. Everybody plays the same schedule, everybody plays the same teams. Right now, this would be a good time for us to lay some sort of foundation with this basketball team as we move forward.”

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry led a balanced attack with 18 points each, as the Mavs (41-23) improved to 2-1 on this five-game homestand. Josh Howard (14) and Malik Allen (10) joined Nowitzki in double figures, and 10 Mavs logged at least 15 minutes in the blowout.

The Mavs took control right from the opening tip, running off 10 straight points before New York broke into the scoring column. Jason Kidd had six assists on 12 baskets in the first quarter, with the lead hitting 19 in the final minute of the period.

Nowitzki and Howard combined for 16 points in the first quarter. The Knicks had 15. Not much changed in the second quarter, as the lead reached 28 at one point before halftime. The Mavs ran at every opportunity and racked up 21 fastbreak points in the half.

“The only way you can run and get easy baskets is if you get stops on the defensive end and we were able to get stops,” Terry said. “Get J-Kidd the ball and he was able to outlet the ball quickly, like he always does, and it allowed us to get easy baskets.”

The woeful Knicks (18-46) started both the first and second quarters by missing 12 of 13 shots. New York was down 54-31 at the break, marking the fewest points the Mavs have allowed in any half this season. The previous low was 33. New Jersey managed 34 in the first half Saturday.

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