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Reply To: NBA • Monday Service Plays • 12/7/15

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Preview: Dallas At New York

When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, December 7, 2015

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

The New York Knicks have made plenty of strides this season, but head coach Derek Fisher is making it very obvious he wants more out of his players. Fisher’s troops return home Monday following an ugly loss looking to right the ship against the Dallas Mavericks.

Before the Knicks fell 106-91 in Milwaukee on Saturday, Fisher told reporters he was not satisfied with his team’s .500 record, and then he showed his dissatisfaction with his starters’ efforts by yanking them en masse midway through the third. “We didn’t start the third quarter in any way, shape or form like we wanted to win the game,” said Fisher, whose five reserves played an average of 21.8 minutes as compared to 26.6 for the five starters. The Mavericks had no such issues Sunday in Washington, storming out of halftime to take a lead and rolling to a 116-104 win behind Wesley Matthews, who tied a franchise record with 10 3-pointers and matched a career-high with 36 points. Dallas shot 16-of-31 from 3-point range after entering the game ranked 28th in the league from beyond the arc (30.9 percent).

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), MSG (New York)

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (12-9): Matthews’ breakout performance came out of nowhere, as he was coming off a 1-of-9 effort in a loss to Houston and shot better than 50 percent for the first time since Nov. 11. “The basket looked like an ocean to me,” Matthews, who entered the game shooting a career-low 30.8 percent from long range, told reporters. Dallas expects to have another perimeter threat on the floor against the Knicks in the form of Chandler Parsons, who was rested in the win over the Wizards.

ABOUT THE KNICKS (10-11): Among the reserves that Fisher can count on is Lance Thomas, who has provided a nice boost of late. The Duke product is averaging 12.8 points on 51.4 percent shooting over a four-game stretch, and has suddenly made himself into an outside shooter worth respecting. Thomas hit a pair of 3-pointers in a 17-point showing at Milwaukee and is 12-of-35 for the season after hitting only 7-of-23 through his first four seasons combined.


1. Mavericks PF Dirk Nowitzki has averaged 24.1 points in 30 career meetings with the Knicks, his best mark against a particular opponent aside from Boston (25.9).

2. Knicks SF Carmelo Anthony is shooting 38.7 percent in 10 home games.

3. Dallas G J.J. Barea has missed five straight games with a right ankle sprain.

PREDICTION: Knicks 100, Mavericks 97