The more the Dallas Mavericks keep winning, the less they try to think about it.
Looking to claim the NBA’s longest winning streak of the season with a 14th straight victory, the Mavericks try to continue their dominance over the visiting New York Knicks on Saturday night.
Undefeated since losing 99-86 at Oklahoma City in their first game after the All-Star break, the Mavericks matched Cleveland’s 13-game run for the longest of the season. Dallas is four wins shy of equaling the franchise record set in 2006-07.
Dallas will move closer to that mark if it posts a ninth consecutive victory over New York (22-43). The Mavericks recorded the most lopsided win in club history by routing New York 128-78 at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 24.
While the Mavericks are the hottest team in the league, all they seem to care about is improving their overall play. The Southwest Division leaders are second in the Western Conference, three games behind the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kidd had 20 points with nine assists, Caron Butler(notes) scored 18 and rookie Roddy Beaubois added 16 as the Mavericks overcame an 18-point deficit to beat the Nets in Dallas. Nowitzki, who averaged 27.8 points on 49.1 percent shooting in his previous 13 games, had 12 points while shooting 3 of 16 from the field.
“Obviously, things are going to run through (Nowitzki),” said Butler, averaging 17.0 in 12 games since being acquired from Washington. “But when things aren’t going well, that’s what we’re here for - a helping hand.”
Nowitzki has a chance to bounce back against the Knicks. He’s averaged 26.5 points on 50.2 percent shooting in his last 14 games against New York. He had 20 points to lead seven Mavericks in double figures during January’s 50-point rout.
Dallas, winners in 15 of 16 against New York, shot 58.1 percent while holding the Knicks to a season-low 33.7 percent shooting and their second-fewest points of the season.
“They took our heart out of us,” said Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, whose team trailed by as many as 53 in that contest.
New York, which hasn’t won at Dallas since Dec. 16 1999, is averaging 88.3 points during its nine-game road skid in the series.
The Knicks look to avoid a third straight loss after falling 119-112 at Memphis on Friday. Bill Walker(notes) scored 21 points and David Lee(notes) added 17 with 14 rebounds as the Knicks’ rally from a 29-point deficit fell short despite scoring 39 in the fourth quarter.
A first-time All-Star this season, Lee is averaging a career-high 20.2 points, but 11.6 in his last five against the Mavericks.