Needing Offense, Knicks Still Can’t Lose

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The Knicks’ two most prolific scorers took turns torching the Dallas Mavericks. Carmelo Anthony bullied his way to the basket, made jumpers in transition and converted key free throws. When Anthony went to the bench, J. R. Smith, the always-willing-to-pull-the-trigger sixth man, took over.

On most nights, Coach Mike Woodson prefers defense over offense, a formula that led the Knicks to their best start (3-0) in more than a decade. But to keep the streak alive Friday night, Anthony and Smith needed to keep scoring.

And score they did, combining for 53 points to propel the Knicks to a 104-94 victory at Madison Square Garden. The last time the Knicks, the lone unbeaten N.B.A. team, were 4-0 came during the 1993-94 season, when they started 7-0 en route to the N.B.A. finals.

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Needing Offense, Knicks Still Can’t Lose