Tyson Chandler told team he'd handle it

NEW YORK -- During his days with the Phoenix Suns, Amare Stoudemire had his share of monster games against the Mavericks. He was on his way as a New York Knick in the first meeting of the season after piling up 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting in the first half.

"I gave him way too many open looks in the first half," Mavs center Tyson Chandler said. "I kind of wanted to get a feel of how he wanted to come out, and he came out, he was hot, he knocked down his first couple jump shots. And then he kind of got in a rhythm."

The Knicks got 34 of their 52 first-half points from Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari. Chandler knew if he could slow down Stoudemire, Dallas would have an excellent shot at extending their 56-52 halftime lead.

"So, I came in the locker room and I told the guys, ‘Hey, you just tell me where you’re at on the floor. I’m going to get aggressive with him and I’m going to force him into traffic.'" Chandler said. "Because of that, I think it made him hesitate a little bit and we were able to slow him down."

Stoudemire missed a couple of easy attempts early in the third quarter, including an awkward dunk attempt that rattled out. He missed all five of his shots in the third quarter as the Mavs rolled to a 26-6 run and then withstood a Knicks run that never got below double digits.

"It really wasn't anything they did," Stoudemire said. "It was just not great rhythm out there in the second half...in the third quarter in particular."

Chandler might disagree with that assertion.