The Knicks had their chances late in Wednesday night’s game, but the Milwaukee Bucks found a way to win, 109-103.
Here are the takeaways….
– Jalen Brunson landed awkwardly driving to the basket one minute into the game and headed to the locker room as Derrick Rose subbed in for him. The Knicks held their own with Brunson out of the game, and led 13-11 when he returned to the floor with 4:54 left in the first quarter.
The Bucks then charged back, as Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, and Pat Connaughton scored seven straight to tie the game up at 18 apiece with two minutes left. Milwaukee led 22-20 after the first, as both teams shot under 35 percent. Julius Randle led the Knicks with seven points, while two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo had just three points that all came from the foul line.
– Obi Toppin gave the Knicks a brief lead with a corner three-pointer, despite both teams’ struggles from beyond the arc. After a Lopez missed three, Randle grabbed the rebound and hit RJ Barret in stride for the layup. The Greek Freak got his first field goal of the game midway through the second quarter, gliding his way to the rim for an easy bucket to cut the Knicks’ lead to one point and forcing Tom Thibodeau to call timeout.
Mitchell Robinson scored on an alley-oop dunk from Brunson with 3.5 seconds left in the half, as the Knicks trailed in the low-scoring contest, 47-45. Both teams made just four three-pointers each in the half (Knicks went 4-of-17, Bucks went 4-of-22). Barrett paced the Knicks with 15 points, while Randle didn’t score in the second quarter and Antetokounmpo got up to 14 points in the half to lead the Bucks.
– Brunson connected with Robinson for another alley-oop, giving Robinson a double-double just three minutes into the third quarter. Robinson grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed Randle three, passed it back to Randle who found Quentin Grimes in the corner, who then drove the baseline for a two-handed jam as the Knicks trailed 57-56. Immanuel Quickley got the offensive board on Randle’s miss and gave it back to him, as he scored over Antetokounmpo and completed the three-point play at the line to tie the game at 65.
Milwaukee outscored New York 27-26 in the third and led heading into the fourth, 74-71. Randle scored seven in the quarter and Barrett had five. Antetokounmpo picked it up with nine more points. Both teams continued to struggle from three-point range, as they each made just one more shot from deep in the third.
– Toppin made his second three-pointer of the game to cut the Bucks’ lead to three, but Antetokounmpo came right back with a dunk to make it 83-78. After a timeout, Barrett scored on a layup and Brunson hit Cam Reddish for a bucket underneath, cutting the deficit to three again. Giannis then made an uncontested three, and made both of his foul shots next time down the court to push their lead. The two teams continued to trade baskets and compete with playoff-like energy, as Milwaukee called timeout with 5:10 left and leading 94-91.
– Barrett was fouled by Holiday on a three-point attempt, as the former No. 3 pick made all three to cut the Bucks’ lead to 99-97. Both team exchanged buckets possession after possession, as Barrett found Robinson underneath and was fouled by Antetokounmpo — his sixth personal foul to end his night with one minute left.
Robinson, who’s shooting 44 percent from the foul line, made one and got the rebound on his second. Brunson then got fouled attacking the rim, missed the first and made the second to tie it up at 103-103. Grayson Allen made an off-balanced three over Barrett to give the Bucks a lead with 30 seconds left. Barrett missed his chance to tie the game and the Knicks were eventually forced to foul.
– Barrett led the Knicks in scoring with 26 points on 8-for-15 shooting, including 8-for-9 from the foul line. Robinson had his best game of the season with 20 rebounds (11 offensive) and 15 points. Randle finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while Brunson had 17 points, five rebounds and five assists. Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.
The Knicks stay at home and take on the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 12:30 p.m.