(Sports Network) - A stiff test awaits Carmelo Anthony and his New York Knicks on Thursday in the form of Western Conference heavyweight Dallas.
The Knicks have started to come on since the blockbuster trade that brought both Anthony and Chauncey Billups over from Denver, winning their third straight game in Memphis on Wednesday when 'Melo buried a long jump shot with 0.5 seconds remaining, lifting New York a 110-108 victory over the Grizzlies.
Before hitting the winner, Anthony committed a foul that allowed Memphis to tie the game on Zach Randolph's three-point play with 14.2 seconds left.
Working against Tony Allen at the other end -- and looking to be the hero in his ninth game with the Knicks -- Anthony dribbled left and took a step back, knocking down the fall-away jumper from just inside the three-point line on the left wing.
"It was a screen and roll with me and 'Melo," said Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire, who ended with 26 points. "Either one of us was going to take the shot depending on the spacing."
Memphis called a timeout, then tried a quick shot off the inbounds pass, but failed to get one off.
Anthony poured in 31 points and the Knicks improved to 6-3 since the All-Star was acquired from the Nuggets. Billups, however, missed his fifth straight game for New York because of a left thigh bruise. Toney Douglas continued to shine in his absence, scoring 18 points with 10 assists.
"We had to hold them off," said Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni. "They're good, we just shot the ball extremely well tonight."
New York is now 6-3 since acquiring Anthony and Billups.
The Mavericks, who possess the NBA's third best record at 46-18, had been red- hot but cooled off a little in the past week and dropped their second game in three tries Wednesday in New Orleans after Jarrett Jack, starting in place of the injured Chris Paul, made three free throws with 8.4 seconds remaining to lift the Hornets past Dallas, 93-92.
Dirk Nowitzki ended with 26 points for the Mavericks, who have lost eight in a row in New Orleans. Tyson Chandler chipped in with 16 points and 13 rebounds. J.J. Barea and Jason Terry added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for Dallas, which has lost the two of three since an eight-game winning streak.
Trailing by seven, 92-85, with 1:13 to play, the Hornets scored the final eight points of the game to claim victory. Marco Belinelli sparked the surge with a three-pointer. Nowitzki turned the ball over at the other end, leading to Emeka Okafor's short jumper for a 92-90 game with 19.1 seconds remaining. Okafor was fouled on the play, but missed his free throw.
Chandler had a chance to extend Dallas' lead at the opposite end, but missed two foul shots. Jason Kidd then fouled Jack on a shot from beyond the arc. Jack made all three shots from the charity stripe to give the Hornets a 93-92 edge with 8.4 ticks to go.
Nowitzki missed an 18-foot jumper as time expired.
"We put them on the free throw line too much, especially at the last 1:13, and you know, we didn't make plays. You've got to make free throws," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said. "You've got to get stops. You've got to be able to get rebounds. And we didn't do it."
Dallas has won nine of its last 10 games with New York.