By Art Garcia, The Sports Xchange
DALLAS — The series of injuries that have hit the Dallas Mavericks backcourt could be considered a problem.
Or an opportunity.
Seth Curry is one of those who has taken advantage of extra minutes as Dallas surges despite the several Mavs going down.
“I have the legs so I think I can do it,” Curry said. “But that is the story of our season right now. Guys are going down so everybody is stepping up.”
Curry scored 20 points in the Mavericks’ 103-95 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.
The Mavericks (16-29) won for the fifth time in their last seven outings and finished off a three-game homestand 2-1. Dallas also avenged a November loss to New York to split the season series.
Harrison Barnes 23 and grabbed five rebounds for the Mavs. Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 and Justin Anderson chipped in with 11 points off the bench.
The Mavs were able to withstand 30 points from Carmelo Anthony, who knocked down 13 of 24 shots. Anthony, who grabbed eight rebounds, missed all four of his 3-point attempts in the second half after going 3-3 from deep in the first.
Courtney Lee had a season-high 23 points for New York, which dropped to 20-27 with its fifth loss in the last seven games. Derrick Rose and Kristaps Porzingis each scored 13.
“It’s been tough,” Rose said. “The league is a grind. You’re not always going to have it your way. The only thing you can do is control what you can control, and that is coming in and trying to get better every day and try to win games. Put in effort.”
The Mavs were without Wesley Matthews and Deron Williams didn’t play in the second half after spraining his left big toe. Those losses, plus J.J. Barea’s continued absence, have put a strain on Rick Carlisle’s guard rotation.
Curry has helped fill the void. He’s averaged 16.4 points over the last five games, shooting 57.1 percent from the floor, including 52.2. percent from beyond the 3-point line.
“I feel like I am an all-around scorer and I feel like I have been that,” Curry said. “Whatever the defense is giving me, I try to take advantage of it, whether that is getting to the lane and making plays for people or making plays for myself and knocking down the shot from the outside is obviously what I do.”
Dallas rode a 14-2 run to go up 75-65 in the third. Anthony led a push to finish the quarter with New York down 78-73.
The Mavericks held on to the lead in the fourth to win their second straight. The Knicks held a massive 55-36 edge on the boards — rookie Willie Hernangomez pulled down a game-high and season-best 16 — but New York shot only 42.4 percent.
The Knicks’ carelessness with the ball down the stretch didn’t help.
“You can’t have eight turnovers in the fourth quarter and expect to win a game,” New York coach Jeff Hornacek said. “They only had seven for the whole game.”
The Mavs went into halftime up 52-51 despite 22 points from Anthony. Nowitzki had a team-high 13 points, with Curry adding 12 and Barnes scoring 10. All of Curry’s points came in the first quarter.
Rose had 11 points and Lee chipped in 10. Porzingis played only five minutes because of foul trouble and didn’t score.
Dallas is back in action Thursday night at Oklahoma City to start a quick two-game road trip. New York returns home for one game Friday against Charlotte before hitting the road again for three games.