NEW YORK — Forward Dirk Nowitzki said it was one of the ugliest shots of his 15-year career, but it resulted in a buzzer-beating basket for the Dallas Mavericks.
Nowitzki, who was guarded closely by forward Carmelo Anthony, landed the 15-foot jumper from just inside the top of the key. The ball bounced off the backboard and off the rim before finally settling in, giving Dallas a 110-108 win over the New York Knicks on Monday at Madison Square Garden.
“It was probably the ugliest game-winning shot ever,” Nowitzki said. “We ran that high-post isolation, which we’ve probably run my entire career. I just waited a little too long, and by the time I looked up, the clock was winding down.
“I just hoisted it up. It’s a good thing I’m 7 feet and was able to see the rim a little bit and shoot above it. It hit the board and every part of the rim. It was definitely an ugly shot, but I’m glad it went in.”
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle wasn’t surprised Nowitzki drained the game-winner.
“It’s the great (Dirk) Nowitzki, man,” Carlisle said. “He’s done it so many times, what an incredible shot.
“It was only fitting. The two best players out there were man-on-man. Carmelo was all over him. Just to get the ball up in the air was a feat, and the shot going in was great.”
The win completed a 3-0 road trip for Dallas (35-23). New York (21-36) fell to 2-9 in February.
Anthony poured in 44 points, but New York wasted one of its best shooting nights of the season. The Knicks were 40 of 76 (53 percent) from the floor.
Anthony’s seventh 3-pointer of the game tied the score at 108 with 50.3 seconds remaining.
Dallas swingman Vince Carter scored a season-high 23 points. Guard Monta Ellis had 22, and guard Jose Calderon contributed 20 points and six assists. Nowitzki added 15 points.
The Knicks stayed within seven points of the Mavericks in the fourth quarter and closed to within 103-100 on a 3-pointer from Anthony with 2:43 to play. However, Calderon’s long trey and a layup from forward Brandan Wright moved Dallas’ lead to 108-100 with 1:37 to play.
“We’ve had a few games this year where we couldn’t get over the hump,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “Our guys are still playing. They’re not quitting, but it’s just not bouncing our way.
“It’s nobody’s fault. Teams are making big plays against us.”
Anthony dropped in 14 points in the third quarter, including New York’s final eight points, but Dallas still led 84-82 heading to the fourth.
New York took its first lead of the second quarter, 59-57, on a pull-up jumper from Anthony with 33 seconds to go, but Ellis’ 3-pointer as time expired gave Dallas a 60-59 halftime lead.
The Knicks used a 17-5 run to trail just 43-41 with 6:13 left in the second quarter. Anthony contributed nine points in the run. He scored 22 points in the half, 17 in the second quarter.
The Knicks, who were playing their third game in four nights, committed 13 fouls in the half.
Dallas took advantage of nine New York turnovers in the first quarter, scoring 11 points off the miscues en route to a 31-21 lead. Carter led the Mavericks with nine points off the bench.
On the night, the Knicks gave the ball away 21 times, while the Mavericks committed just 10 turnovers.
NOTES: Knicks F Carmelo Anthony scored at least 40 points for the fifth time this season. … The Knicks waived G Beno Udrih and F Metta World Peace before the game. Udrih didn’t play in the Knicks’ past 12 games, and World Peace averaged just 4.8 points in 29 games. … New York F Carmelo Anthony was selected the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January. Anthony averaged 28.7 points in the month. … Knicks F Amar’e Stoudemire made his first start of the season. He finished with nine points and two rebounds in 20 minutes. … Entering Monday’s games, Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki led the league in free-throw percentage (.914) and was 12th in scoring (21.8 points per game). … The Knicks used their 15th starting lineup of the season.
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