Rapid Reaction: Mavs 114, Knicks 111

WHAT IT MEANS: Everything that had worked so well for the Knicks in the first nine games -- solid defense, great ball movement, minimal turnovers -- seemed to fail them on Wednesday in Dallas.

The result was New York’s second loss of the season, 114-111 to the Mavs.

The Knicks were outscored by nine in the third quarter and couldn’t complete a furious comeback attempt in the fourth, falling to 8-2.

New York cut a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to one with 24 seconds to play and had the ball. Carmelo Anthony (23 points, 7-for-15 shooting) missed a deep jumper with three seconds to play that would have given the Knicks the lead.

HEY, REF! There were two questionable calls down the stretch involving Anthony. He drove to the basket and made a 180-degree circus layup that was called off due to a questionable offensive foul. The Knicks were down five at the time.

Anthony also drove to the basket and took a shot to the face with 48 seconds to play and the Knicks down one. Shawn Marion swiped the ball before Anthony was hit by Chris Kaman and the refs swallowed their whistles.

TOO MANY TURNOVERS: The Knicks entered play Wednesday averaging a league-low 10.3 turnovers a night. They were careless with the ball too often in Dallas, finishing with 14 turnovers that led to 14 Dallas points. Anthony struggled to control the ball, finishing with six turnovers. Point guard Raymond Felton, who took the floor with a sterling assist-to-turnover ratio, finished with four turnovers and 11 assists.

MELO MELLOWED: Anthony took the court on Wednesday as one of the hottest players in the NBA. But he had a tough time in the first half against Marion and the Mavs.

Anthony was 1-for-6 in the first two quarters with four points and got it going at times in the second half but it wasn’t enough.

Tyson Chandler had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Felton had 18 points and 11 assists.

KIDD BACK ON THE BLOCK: Much was made of the reaction Jason Kidd would get in his first game in Dallas after signing with the Knicks. The ex-Mav received some warm cheers during intros and then showed Dallas fans why they were upset that he left.

Kidd finished with 17 points, 5 steals, 5 assists and 6 rebounds.

DEFENSE RESTS? The Knicks struggled to get stops, allowing Dallas to shoot 49 percent from the floor and 44 percent from beyond the arc. O.J. Mayo torched the Knicks for 27 points and veteran Vince Carter turned back the clock, pouring in 25 points (five made 3-pointers) off the bench.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Knicks wrap up their three-game road trip on Friday against the Houston Rockets and Jeremy Lin. It’s their first game against Lin since they decided against matching the Rockets’ three-year, $25 million offer to him over the summer. Lin has had an up-and-down campaign so far in Houston, but he’ll surely be motivated to hand his old team a loss.

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