Kyrie Irving scored 44 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 32 in his fifth start of the season and the short-handed Dallas Mavericks, playing without superstar Luka Doncic and two other starters, held off a late charge to beat the New York Knicks 128-124 on Thursday night.
After Irving had 20 in the third quarter, the Mavericks led 115-96 with 7:19 left in the game before the Knicks pulled within 121-120 with 1:08 to go on Donte DiVicenzo’s 3-pointer.
Josh Green hit a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left for the last of his 18 points following three Dallas offensive rebounds for a 124-120 lead. Irving and Hardaway combined to sink four free throws in the final 11.1 seconds left to seal the win.
Dallas native Julius Randle led the Knicks with 32 points. Jalen Brunson, playing in Dallas for the first time since leaving the Mavericks in free agency in July 2022, scored 30. DiVincenzo had 19, but the Knicks lost for the first time in six games since acquiring OG Anunoby from Toronto on Dec. 30.
Irving also led the Mavericks with eight assists.
Anunoby scored 10 points, eight in the fourth quarter. Randle’s 67th career 30-point game tied him with Willis Reed for fifth place in club history.
The Knicks came off their best defensive effort of the season in Tuesday’s 112-84 win at home against Portland.
Doncic sat out with an ankle injury. The Mavericks were also missing center Dereck Lively II and guard Dante Exum.
Irving scored Dallas’ first eight points as the Mavericks raced to a 19-point lead late in the quarter, led by as many as 20 in the half, and were ahead 74-55 at halftime.
Anunoby, coming off his Knicks-high 23 points on Tuesday, took his first shot three minutes into the second period and finished the half with two points.
Brunson’s first half included a technical foul called in the closing seconds.
Knicks: At Memphis on Saturday.
Mavericks: The first of two consecutive games against New Orleans on Saturday.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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