Monday, February 3, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Bucks 101, Knicks 98
By Ian Begley
In a season full of bad losses, Monday night’s has to be one of the worst for the Knicks.
Milwaukee point guard Brandon Knight hit a 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds to break a tie and give the Bucks a 101-98 win over the Knicks.
The Bucks improved to 9-39 but have the worst record in the NBA. Simply put, this was a game the Knicks needed to win. Milwaukee entered play Monday on a six-game losing streak. They had lost seven in a row to the Knicks (19-29).
But that streak was snapped thanks to Knight, who led five double-digit Bucks scorers with 25 points.
In addition to the game-winning 3-pointer, Knight cut to the hoop, received a beautiful pass by Zaza Pachulia and converted a layup to put the Bucks up three with 27 seconds to play. He beat Raymond Felton on the backdoor cut.
Carmelo Anthony knocked down a 3 to tie the score with 19 seconds to go, but the Knicks couldn’t get a stop on the last possession as Knight hit a shot over the outstretched arms of Felton.
Anthony did everything he could to help the Knicks cut a six-point, fourth-quarter deficit. Anthony had 17 points in the final 12 minutes, but New York couldn’t get enough stops down the stretch. Anthony finished with a game-high 36. J.R. Smith had 30.
The Knicks have lost two straight after winning four in a row at home. With 29 losses, they have already surpassed their loss total from last season.
Missing the point: The Knicks didn’t get much from their point guards on Monday. Raymond Felton missed six of his first seven shots and finished with three points in 35 minutes. Pablo Prigioni, not known as a scorer, had three points but just one assist in 22 minutes.
Iman Shumpert, who plays small forward in the Knicks’ small-ball lineup, had just five points in 25 minutes. He was playing his first game following a two-game absence due to a shoulder injury.
Knight, the Bucks’ point guard, had his way for most of the game. He hit 4 of 8 from the 3-point line and had seven assists.
Slow start: The Knicks went scoreless in the first three minutes and missed five of their first six shots. They started 0-for-4 from the free throw line. Free throws hurt the Knicks all night. They finished 15-of-24 from the line, so if you’re looking for something to point your finger at, look no further than the free throw line.
New York’s perimeter defense also wasn’t there on Monday. The club allowed the Bucks to hit 11 of 18 3s. Khris Middleton went 5-for-6 from 3.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, the “Greek Freak”, finished with 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting. He had a putback dunk to put the Bucks up by 10 with 9:11 to play.
Hard times: Knicks rookie Tim Hardaway entered play scoring 18 points per game and hitting 50 percent of his 3s in his past five contests. That hot streak ended on Monday. Hardaway Jr. couldn’t find his shot against Milwaukee, finishing 2-for-10 from the floor in 28 minutes.
What’s next: The Knicks will come home to prepare for Wednesday’s game against Damian Lillard and the Trailblazers.