EditorsNote: Added Devin Harris’ first name
Dennis Smith Jr. finished with a triple-double Wednesday night, and Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 14 points in his possible finale at Madison Square Garden as the visiting Dallas Mavericks pulled away for a 114-90 win over the New York Knicks.
The Mavericks have won three of four. The Knicks have lost 11 straight, 19 of 20 and 24 of 26. New York (10-40) has the worst record in the NBA.
Smith collected 13 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds. Harrison Barnes led all scorers with 19 points while Wesley Matthews added 17 points and rookie sensation Luka Doncic had 16 points and eight rebounds.
The 40-year-old Nowitzki, who is coming off the bench this season and has played in just 19 of the Mavericks’ 50 games, received standing ovations when he entered in the first quarter and when he came back to play the final 4:35 of the game.
Nowitzki, who hasn’t announced his plans for beyond this season but is widely expected to retire, drew more applause when he drained a 3-pointer and a long jumper within a 62-second span late in the fourth. He missed his last field goal attempt with 49 seconds left.
Nowitzki made it clear he wanted Dallas to dribble out the shot clock on its final possession instead of giving him another shot.
Rookie Kevin Knox scored 17 points for the Knicks, who received 16 points from Trey Burke, 13 points from Mario Hezonja and 11 points from rookie Allonzo Trier.
The teams actually traded the lead a handful of times in the second quarter before Matthews hit a 3-pointer to put the Mavericks ahead for good at 44-42 with 3:58 left. That began a half-ending, 14-5 run for Dallas in which Matthews drained three 3-pointers.
The Mavericks outscored the Knicks 59-43 in the second half and took their first double-digit lead at 63-53 on Doncic’s jumper with 9:40 left in the third. Devin Harris and Dwight Powell hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final seconds of the period to give Dallas its first 20-point lead at 90-70.
The Mavericks took their biggest lead at 29 points on each of Nowitzki’s final baskets.
—Field Level Media