Mavs not 'soft' vs Knicks, win 127-109

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DALLAS (AP) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points, Shawn Marion had 22 and Jason Terry 21 and the Dallas Mavericks proved themselves to their coach by beating the New York Knicks 127-109 Thursday night.

Dallas had lost two of its past three games, with coach Rick Carlisle calling his Mavericks "soft" after they blew a seven-point lead in the final minute in New Orleans the night before. Players responded just like he hoped, scoring a season-best 72 points in the first half on their way to their highest total for a game all season.

Amare Stoudemire scored 36 points for the Knicks, who had won three straight. Stoudemire also picked up his 16th technical foul, which would trigger an automatic one-game suspension if it's upheld. It was a marginal call and could be rescinded; he's already had two wiped out this season. He also played through a bruised left shoulder sustained early in the game.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)