DALLAS -- As he walked out of the locker room for the night, Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire offered no excuses for the start of the game: "No excuses. None."
The Knicks, playing in their second game in three nights, got behind as much as 17 in the first half to a Mavericks team that was playing its fourth game in five nights.
The Knicks did make a run in the second half, taking a brief 78-77 lead in the fourth quarter, but the Mavs closed the deal with a surge going ahead 91-78 with two minutes to play in the game.
"We made a run with our second team, which kept us in this ballgame," guard Jeremy Lin said. "We couldn't close this game out and they obviously did a great job of getting defensive stops. Those stops led to quick, easy buckets and Dirk [Nowitzki] is a clutch player who scores a lot in the fourth quarter."
The start of the game is what bothered the Knicks the most. Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire combined to go 2-9 from the floor in the first quarter.
"I thought early we just didn't make shots there's no reason for it," Mike D'Antoni said. "We really didn’t have a thrust the whole night. We're trying to push the ball and trying to make them play an athletic game and not a thinking man's game, and they tried to slow it down and we tried to push it. And we didn’t really get that accomplished until about the fourth, and some of the guys on the floor did it and some of them didn't."