New York, NY – Carmelo Anthony had 31 points and seven rebounds as the New York Knicks remained undefeated with a 104-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden.
J.R. Smith added 22 points off the bench, while Ronnie Brewer finished with 13 points and eight rebounds for New York, which improved to 4-0 on the season and is off to its best start since beginning the 1993-94 campaign 7-0.
"Tonight, Dallas got off to a great start in the first half," said Anthony. We just had to buckle down defensively and win the basketball game."
Tyson Chandler contributed 11 points and nine boards in the win.
O.J. Mayo netted 23 points to pace the Mavericks, who had their three-game win streak snapped.
"They're a very good team, and in my opinion, they are one of a handful of teams that has a chance to come out of the East," said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. "I like their talent, they are well coached, and they have Jason Kidd, and he's going to bring everyone's level of focus and intensity up."
New York carried a 25-23 edge into the second quarter after a back-and-forth opening frame that saw nine lead changes, four ties and neither team hold a lead larger than four points, but the Mavericks ended the back-and-forth affair by opening the second with an 8-0 run that included consecutive 3- pointers by Mayo to take a 31-25 advantage.
After a Vince Carter jumper later stretched Dallas' lead up to 41-32 near the midpoint of the second, the Knicks reeled off a 12-3 spurt to knot the game at 44 on an Anthony trey.
The Mavericks answered with a 9-2 push to regain a seven-point lead, but New York closed out the half by scoring nine of the final 13 points to get within 57-55 at the break on Smith's triple in the closing seconds of the second quarter.
It remained a one-possession game throughout the majority of the third quarter until a Smith 3-pointer sparked a 9-4 run by the Knicks to go on top, 78-71, with a little over three minutes remaining in the period.
Dallas could not get closer than three points from there and trailed, 84-78, entering the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks managed to cut their deficit to 90-86 less than three minutes into the fourth with four straight points by Mayo, but Anthony put an end to the push with a 3-pointer at the other end, sparking an 8-0 spurt that pulled the Knicks away for good as Dallas got no closer than eight points over the final five-plus minutes of action.
The Knicks Marcus Camby returned to the lineup after missing the first three games of the season with a strained left calf. He finished with two points and four rebounds in just over eight minutes ... Carter ended with 15 points and six rebounds ... New York scored 20 points off 20 Dallas turnovers ... The Mavericks netted eight points off nine Knicks turnovers ... The game had 13 lead changes and seven ties.