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Final Score: Knicks 92, Mavericks 80

That's 2 of 3 in Texas!

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks stagnated plenty in their triangular journey around Texas, but they came out looking improved. Two of three is a solid win haul. And at a more...I dunno, spiritual level, the Knicks seem livelier and more cohesive. Guys are buzzing, though not always in unison. Tonight in Dallas, Carmelo Anthony dominated the first quarter with scoring and distribution, then tumbled headfirst through much of the second half. Kenyon Martin finished wonderfully in pick-and-rolls and contributed just as much as a distributor. Spurts of scoring from Andrea Bargnani and J.R. Smith comprised a decent portion of their occasionally wild range of attempts. And Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr.-- goddamn, guys -- galloped their way to some of the timeliest and most thrilling buckets of the night. Even the defense had strings of moments amid the usual muck, and without Tyson Chandler, lost early to a respiratory ailment.

Mike Woodson, governed by what force I can't say, keeps calling on players who keep offering reasons not to be called on, especially at times when the Knicks need defense (many times, I've found). Tonight, the Knicks managed. Through this whole trip, they've managed in spite of poor defensive lineups, and against opponents with some wins of their own. It's nice to know they can do that sometimes.

Recap up tomorrow! Have an excellent post-win evening.