By SCHUYLER DIXON – AP sportswriter
DALLAS (AP) — Julius Randle scored 26 points against his hometown team and the New York Knicks won for the fifth straight game in Dallas, beating the Mavericks 107-77 on Wednesday night.
RJ Barrett added 18 points for the Knicks, who won their third consecutive game after a seven-game losing streak and improved to 3-2 on a seven-game road trip.
The Mavericks missed their first 19 3-pointers while falling behind by 28 points in their first half of the season. Dallas trailed 61-34 at the break as a five-game winning streak ended.
Luka Doncic scored 17 of his 31 points in the third quarter as the Mavericks closed to 14 before consecutive buckets from Randle calmed the Knicks.
“I love the way our boys perform, the intensity with which we play and the solidarity on both sides of the ball,” said New York coach Tom Thibodeau. “The challenge doesn’t stop there. We can’t feel too good.”
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New York, chasing for the last play-in spot in the Eastern Conference, swept the two-game season streak away from the playoff-tied Mavericks to win by a 26.5 point average.
The Mavericks shot the season’s worst 13.6% from long range (6 of 44) and 31.4% overall. Reggie Bullock was 0 of 8 and remained goalless while Jalen Brunson, Davis Bertans and Maxi Kleber combined missed 14 more without scoring.
“That was probably our best defensive performance of the year,” Randle said.
Doncic was the only Dallas starter in double figures as the Mavericks finished with a season-low 11 assists.
“We might have overdribbled a bit but we looked great,” said coach Jason Kidd. “Sometimes you lose a game. Tonight was the night. We had a great homestand. You can’t let a game ruin that and we’re not. It’s over.”
All five New York starters were in double figures, with double-doubles from Alec Burks (15 points and 11 rebounds) and Mitchell Robinson (11 and 11). Evan Fournier scored 10 points.
Randle was recovering from a poor shooting start and finished 8th out of 19 with eight rebounds and five assists. The Dallas native scored 44 points with the Mavericks last season and had a best 46 points in a 131-115 win in Sacramento his career.
“It’s automatic, man, playing in front of my mom and obviously my wife and sons were here,” Randle said. “I always want to put on a good show for them.”
Knicks: Cam Reddish was out after injuring his right shoulder against the Kings two nights earlier. … Taj Gibson was the sixth double-digit scorer with 11.
Mavericks: The previous first-half lowest scoring was 37 in a 97-90 loss in Memphis on Dec. 4. … The previous low shooting percentage from beyond the arc was 13.8% (4 of 29) in a 106-93 loss in Indiana on Dec. 10. … Spencer Dinwiddie was Dallas’ only other double-digit scorer with 13.
Doncic recorded his 14th technical foul when the game was just out of reach in the fourth quarter. He’s two technicians from a one-game suspension, though that count will reset for the playoffs. Doncic has had one technology withdrawn and said the latest should also be challenged.
The Knicks maintained their comfortable lead despite scoring 36% after halftime. Dallas had lost 17 points early in the fourth quarter but only scored 10 points for the remainder. The Mavericks finished in fourth place with 12 points, their lowest tally in a quarter this season (12 in the third quarter of a 106-75 loss in Denver on Oct. 29).
Knicks: On Friday in Memphis.
Mavericks: The second leg of five straight road games in a month begins Friday in Houston. It’s a real road trip this time. The previous set, in which Dallas went 4-1, was broken by the all-star break.
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