Justin Anderson slightly exaggerated his compliment about teammate J.J. Barea.
"The guy's a cold-blooded killer," Anderson said, "and he only stands about 5 feet tall."
Barea — all 6 feet of him — scored 26 points and made the go-ahead layup with 49.9 seconds left as the Dallas Mavericks rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the New York Knicks 91-89 on Wednesday night.
Dallas' win, combined with Utah's loss to Golden State, left the Jazz, Mavericks and Houston Rockets tied for seventh place in the Western Conference.
Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points for New York and Derrick Williams added 15 in his third start of the season with Kristaps Porzingis out with a shoulder injury.
Barea has stepped up with 44 points in Dallas' last two games, with Deron Williams missing four games with abdominal and groin strains and Chandler Parson lost two weeks ago to knee surgery.
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"I've always been aggressive as a player," Barea said. "Now, I know I'm going to have to get more minutes."
Barea's basket put Dallas ahead 90-89 after the Mavericks trailed by seven points with 8 minutes left.
Anthony lost the ball out of bounds with the Knicks trailing by one. Raymond Felton made one free throw with 8.7 seconds left and the Knicks' Langston Galloway missed a long 3-point attempt on the final possession.
Wesley Matthews had 16 points and Dirk Nowitzki 11, hitting only 5 of 23 from the floor after going 4 for 17 in Monday's win at Denver.
"Now I'm 9 for 50, and we're 2-0," said Nowitzki, his math off by 10 shots. "I'd rather have the two wins."
Porzingis re-injured his right shoulder during Monday's game at New Orleans making a block. He is scheduled to have an MRI later this week.
New York lost starting point guard Jose Calderon to a quad injury late in the first half. X-rays were negative.
New York followed 71 percent shooting during the first period by hitting only 36 percent for the rest of the game. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle credited reserves David Lee and Zaza Pachulia for attacking New York's second unit.
Knicks coach Kurt Rambis said his team's offense got stagnant.
"The ball doesn't move around real easy and freely," Rambis said. "We come down, and we're trying to force it in to either Melo or trying to force something to happen."
ANOTHER FINE MESS?
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he has talked with the NBA about the criticism of game officials that he tweeted last week but wouldn't say if he has been fined.
"I don't think they're done," he said.
CLEARING THE AIR
Rambis said he and Arron Afflalo had an "extensive conversation" on Tuesday about Afflalo's recent benching. Afflalo had previously said he wasn't told before it happened while Rambis had said they'd talked.
"If I wasn't clear in the beginning to why he would be coming off the bench, that was my fault," Rambis said.
Mavericks: With four rebounds, Nowitzki moved past David Robinson into 30th place on the career list with 10,499. . Dallas swept the two-game season series for the second straight season and has won 24 of its last 29 against New York.
Knicks: Sasha Vujacic, Afflalo's replacement, had seven points in 24 minutes compared to Afflalo's three points in 31 minutes. . It was Anthony's eighth 30-point game of the season.
Mavericks: At Detroit on Friday.
Knicks: Host Brooklyn on Friday.