Tyson Chandler received the warm ovation he was hoping for, and Chandler Parsons was effective after missing one game with a sore lower back.
That was more than enough for the Dallas Mavericks to cruise to a wire-to-wire 107-87 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Mavs (18-8) will end their brief two-game road trip Wednesday night at 6:30 against the Detroit Pistons.
Chandler was playing his first game in New York since the Knicks traded him to the Mavs on June 25. What the 7-foot-1 center received during pregame introductions was a loud ovation that gave him a warm feeling in a game he collected eight points and 14 rebounds.
“It’s surprising,” said Chandler, who spent three seasons with the Knicks. “I respect the fans in New York, I respect the city. I had an amazing time here.
“Last year was a tough year, but I enjoyed my time here. I enjoyed the organization, my teammates and the city. So to get a positive response, it felt great because I feel that way about them.”
The Mavs must have been feeling great about their lone trip to Madison Square Garden this season. Dallas shot 50.6 percent from the field, converted 15 of 33 shots from 3-point territory, picked up nine steals and never trailed throughout the game.
“I told our guys before the game, ‘This is a hard game, this is a wild building, strange things happen in here,’” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I actually scored over 20 points in here one time in an NBA game — just to tell you that there’s wacky magic about this.
“Especially when you’re an opponent and you don’t come in here the right way. But we did tonight, and we had some scares throughout the game. But our guys did a good job, so we get out of here alive.”
Parsons, playing for the first time since missing Saturday’s game against Golden State, was solid in scoring 13 points and handing out a season-high-tying six assists in 23 minutes. Yet, he was a bit sore after the game.
“Obviously not playing too many minutes tonight was probably beneficial,” said Parsons, who made 3 of 6 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. “But once the game started and you’re playing in Madison Square Garden and the adrenalin is going, I felt fine. But right now it’s definitely a little sore.
“You kind of forget about any pain once you’re playing, especially if you got it rolling. And I had it going on in the first quarter and felt good, so I just tried to go with it.”
With each starter getting at least one basket, the Mavs made their first six shots and led 14-5 in the early going. That lead blossomed to 29-11 after Dirk Nowitzki (16 points, 23 minutes) drilled a pair of free throws and a bucket with less than five minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
The Knicks (5-22) got within 36-32 early in the second quarter, but the Mavs took off again and had a 54-44 lead at halftime.
A pair of 3-pointers by J.J. Barea (10 points, five assists), a 3-pointer from Devin Harris (11 points), a 3 by Richard Jefferson, an alley-oop dunk from Barea to Brandan Wright and a 3-point play by Jefferson bumped the Mavs’ cushion to 102-77 with less than five minutes left.
Meanwhile, Nowitzki was proud of the fact that the Mavs held their sixth opponent this season to less than 100 points in a game.
“Defense hasn’t really been our strong suit, especially against some of those good teams,” Nowitzki said. “Today, we didn’t give up 100 points, so for us that’s a success.”
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760