DALLAS (AP) — Vince Carter drove the baseline and leaped, his feet hovering over the end line, when he reached out with his right hand and made a reverse layup.
That was part of Carter's 14 points in the fourth quarter for the Dallas Mavericks, after O.J. Mayo's go-ahead spurt to end the third, and it almost wasn't enough against the New York Knicks.
Dallas held on for a 114-111 victory Wednesday night after Carmelo Anthony was short on a potential go-ahead jumper with 4 seconds left, then fouled out when going after the rebound.
"Big confidence boost," Mayo said.
The Mavericks (7-6), who will be without Dirk Nowitzki maybe another month, avoided going under .500 for the first time this season by beating what had been the NBA's only one-loss team.
Darren Collison, the point guard who this season replaced Jason Kidd in the Dallas lineup, had 19 points and seven assists. It made up for a 2-of-11 shooting game two nights earlier and a 1-of-8 performance in New York almost two weeks ago.
"First and foremost, it was a collective effort," said Carter, who finished with 25 points. "This was one of (Collison's) best games since the very beginning of the season. He's very hard on himself. ... He wants to win, and that's what I like about him."
Mayo scored 10 of his 27 points over the final six minutes of the third quarter, when Dallas charged ahead with a 20-8 spurt. His 17-foot fadeaway jumper with 43 seconds left in the third broke an 80-all tie and put the Mavericks ahead to stay.
Dallas was up 102-90 on Carter's floater with about 6 minutes left, only a few minutes after his highlight play.
Then the Mavs had to hold on against a Knicks team featuring Kidd and Tyson Chandler, members of Dallas' only NBA championship team just two seasons ago.
Dallas didn't keep Chandler after the lockout that followed its title, and Kidd signed with New York as a free agent last summer after initially indicating he was staying.
"I loved Dallas. What we accomplished as a team will always be special to me," Kidd said. "But now I'm in New York trying to accomplish that again."
Kidd, who said he never got a chance to talk to Mavs owner Mark Cuban, had a season-high 17 points. Chandler had 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Anthony scored 23 points while Raymond Felton added 18, JR Smith 14 and Rasheed Wallace 11.
Chandler had three three-point plays in a late 21-10 spurt.
The last of Chandler's three-point plays came with 1:37 left, when he was fouled by Carter making a basket and hit the free throw to get the Knicks within 112-109.