- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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WHAT IT MEANS: Just call Steve Novak the Homecoming King.
Novak, a Wisconsin native, returned home Wednesday night and put on a show for the locals. He poured in a season-high 19 points and five 3-pointers in the Knicks' blowout road win, 102-88 over the Milwaukee Bucks.
It was Novak's second strong game in the Knicks' past three; he also had five threes in the Knicks' win Sunday over Detroit. He seems to have shaken his early-season slump -- a good sign for the short-handed Knicks.
The Knicks (10-4) needed this one, having lost three of four entering Wednesday's game. They won without Jason Kidd, who didn't make the trip due to lower back spasms.
EFFICIENT NIGHT FOR TYSON: Tyson Chandler just can't miss. He entered the game leading the NBA with a 70.4 field-goal percentage, having made 12 of his 13 shots on Monday against the Nets. That continued on Wednesday, as Chandler hit for 17 points on 4-of-4 shooting and went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line. He has made 32 of his last 36 shots over the last six games. Of course, it helps that all of his attempts come from inside the restricted area.
ANOTHER HOT START FOR CARMELO: Carmelo Anthony got off to another strong start, scoring 20 points in the first half. He finished with 29 in 30 minutes, going 9-for-18 from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3-point territory.
NO KIDD, NO PROBLEM: With Kidd out, the Knicks needed a big night from Pablo Prigioni. They got it. The 35-year-old rookie had the best night of his young NBA career with 11 points and seven assists. The Knicks outscored the Bucks by 11 in Prigioni's 28 minutes. Prigioni also hit two threes to help the Knicks go 11-for-21 from beyond the arc.
Raymond Felton also shook off his awful night against the Nets (3-for-19 shooting) to hit five of 10 shots for 12 points. Felton also handed out seven assists and had four steals.
OFF NIGHT FOR J.R., RASHEED: It wasn't all roses for the Knicks on Wednesday. Reserve guard J.R. Smith had an off night, picking up five fouls in just 11 minutes on the court. He finished with two points on 1-for-5 shooting. Also, for the second straight game, Rasheed Wallace had a tough night shooting. He went 2-for-11 in the Knicks' loss in Brooklyn on Monday and 2-for-10 on Wednesday.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks return home to face the one-win Wizards on Friday and the Phoenix Suns at home on Sunday.
4dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann