DALLAS -- Carmelo Anthony got hot in the third quarter and after hitting a jumper over Shawn Marion, he looked at the Mavericks bench and said, "He can't guard me." It turned out he could, and the Knicks were the ones who couldn't guard the Mavericks.
The best defensive team in the league gave up a season-high point total and lost for just the second time in eight games, as the Knicks fell, 114-111, Wednesday night.
The Knicks coughed up an eight-point third-quarter lead, but battled back from 12 down midway through the fourth and had a chance to take the lead in the closing seconds.
Trailing 112-111, Anthony pulled up for a 15-foot jumper and the ball popped out of his hands. He recovered it, but his shot over Marion was short and the Mavericks rebounded.
"We had a chance," Anthony said. "The ball was in my hands at the end. It slipped. I got the shot I wanted. I just didn't convert on it."
On the previous trip, Anthony had a layup attempt slapped away from him by Marion with 48.8 seconds to go and the Knicks down one. Anthony was holding his jaw after the play and said he got hit in the face but there was no call.
After starting 1-for-6, Anthony found his stroke. But he also forced things offensively. Anthony ended up 7-for-16 and fouled out with 23 points, six rebounds, four assists and seven turnovers.
One was a costly offensive foul with 2:26 left. Anthony drove and saw Vince Carter sliding over to draw the charge. Anthony turned and flung the shot up and it banked in, but the officials called a charge on the play.
After his missed jumper in the waning seconds, Anthony picked up his sixth foul on Dahntay Jones to stop the clock. Jones made both free throws for the final points with 3.3 seconds to go. Raymond Felton's halfcourt heave at the buzzer banged off the backboard.
The Knicks end this three-game trip Friday night in Houston, where they will face Jeremy Lin for the first time since opting not to match the Rockets' three-year, $25.1-million offer for him.
Carter came off the bench to score 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter. He was 5-for-9 in the fourth and buried two threes. "He honestly shouldn't have gotten those looks," a dejected Tyson Chandler said. "But he made some tough shots."
Chandler had 21 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, and 13 rebounds. Felton finished with 18 points and 11 assists and Jason Kidd had 17 points in his return to Dallas.
The Knicks have prided themselves on holding teams to 40 points or under in the second half. The Mavericks scored 50 in the last 17:27 minutes of this game. "We took a step backward," Mike Woodson said.
After Carter scored on a floater to make it 102-90 with 6:00 left, the Knicks clawed back.
Kidd and Anthony each buried threes and Chandler converted three three-point plays in a Knicks' run that ended with two Kidd foul shots that made it a one-point game with 1:15 left. But they ended up being the Knicks' last points.
"I expected to win," Chandler said. "We had a couple of possessions with a minute or so left to take the lead and get some stops. It didn't work out that way."