Written by William Lee
On Thanksgiving Eve, New York for the first time, matched up against their 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year since their major off season trade this past summer. The trade that sent Tyson Chandler reuniting with his old mates, the 2011 NBA Champions Dallas Mavericks, as the Knicks would acquire Jose Calderon, whom just recently returned from injury to stabilize the point guard position in New York.
In a highly motivated game for both Tyson Chandler and Jose Calderon, each went off on their former team. Tyson Chandler went off for a season high in points and rebounds, scoring 17 points, and grabbing 25 rebounds, devastating New York by collecting 10 offensive rebounds. Jose Calderon not to be out done, tied his career high in rebounds with ten rebounds, and scored 21 points, all on three-pointers, knocking down seven from beyond the arc. Samuel Dalembert, who was also in the trade this past summer also had himself a great showing against his former team, collecting a double-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds, along with a couple of steals and blocks.
New York hung in tough Wednesday night despite not having their star player Carmelo Anthony due to issues with back spasm. Without Anthony, New York actually doubled up on Dallas early on in the first quarter, up 20-10 with five minute remaining in the opening quarter after Calderon knocked down his third three of the quarter.
Dallas slowly chipped away at the lead, and eventually took the lead early in the second quarter. Where both teams would exchange leads five times, and knot it up three times in the quarter. Dallas would take the lead late in the first half with back to back Tyson Chandler plays. First after a scramble for the loose ball, Dirk Nowitzki ended up with it, and threw a ¾ court pass to Chandler to take a 42-40 lead with a minute remaining in the first half. Then Chandler drew it down again on the very next possession.
In the third quarter the game continued to see-saw back and forth. Pablo Prigioni erupted with four three-pointers in the quarter, helping New York to outscore 31-25 in the period. Dallas was leading late in the third quarter dispute shooting 3/12 from downtown in the first half, and then chucked up another 12 three-pointers in the third quarter, only to convert on one. New York though would still be down even with this occurring, until a 10-2 run to end the quarter gave the Knicks a 73-71 lead.
Dallas went on a 10-0 run late in the fourth quarter to gain a five point advantage, leading 88-83 with just under three minutes to play. Jose Calderon refused to lose to his former team, drilling back to back threes, for his sixth and seventh three-pointer of the game to take back the lead 89-88 with two minutes remaining in the game.
Sadly New York could not get out of their own way to victory. Amare Stoudemire foolishly committed fouls on loose balls for rebounds on consecutive possessions, allowing the Mavericks to take a three point lead from the free throw line with Nowitzki and Parson calmly knocking down all four from the charity stripe.
J.R. Smith would answer immediately with a floater in the lane cutting the deficit to one point. Dallas would take a quick time out, and Nowitzki would knock down a wide open jumper (somehow the best player is open…). Consequently Dallas would show the same defense, allowing Calderon to easily connect with Stoudemire on an alley opp to once again trim it to a one point game. New York would be forced to foul to prolong the game, sending Devin Harris to the line. Harris split the free throws, which gave J.R Smith the opportunity to tie the game with a step back jump shot.
Unfortunately for New York would be all the excitement they can generate on Wednesday night, as Dallas easily won in overtime. The Knicks carelessness with the ball never gave themselves a chance to win, New York committed six turnovers in the extra session. This play perfectly summed up the overtime period for the Knicks, Dalembert secures the defensive rebound, only to get the ball picked away from him, leading to a furious Tyson Chandler dunk that gave Dallas the lead. A lead that the Mavericks would not relinquish, as Dallas held on win 109-102. Nowitzki lead the way, scoring a game high 30 points, winning in spite of Dallas uncharacteristically bad three-point shooting, a dreadful 4/31.