Balanced Bucks cruise past short-handed Knicks 112-97
NEW YORK (AP) — Khris Middleton scored 24 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo just missed a triple-double to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 112-97 victory over the short-handed New York Knicks on Sunday.
Antetokounmpo had 20 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds. Bobby Portis Jr. added 19 points, Rodney Hood had 14, Jrue Holliday chipped in 13, Grayson Allen contributed 12 and Pat Connaughton netted 10 as the Bucks had seven figures in double-digit scoring.
Milwaukee (18-10) never trailed as it won its second straight game and 10th out of 12 overall.
New York (12-15) has lost three in a row and seven of 10.
In his first NBA start, Quentin Grimes scored 27 for the Knicks and set a team record for the most 3-pointers made in a game by a rookie with seven. Grimes’ 27 points were the most points by a Knicks rookie in a game since 1996-97.
Derrick Rose and Kevin Knox had 18 apiece, and Immanuel Quickley finished with 11.
The third of four regular-season matchups between the Eastern Conference franchises reinforced why the Bucks and Knicks exist on significantly different plains in the NBA strata.
Milwaukee came out firing on all cylinders, with the Bucks leading 9-1 4:07 into the game and 26-16 at the end of the first quarter. The lead was stretched to 54-33 after Portis’ 3-point play with 4:28 left in the second quarter. At halftime, Milwaukee had a 61-48 advantage.
But the Knicks fought back behind Grimes and Rose in the third quarter. Grimes scored 12 points, all on 3s, Rose had 10 and New York cut the deficit to nine on three separate occasions.
That was as close as it would get. Milwaukee outscored New York 6-1 over the final 1:26 of the quarter and pushed the advantage to 19 after Antetokounmpo’s floater with 5:49 left in the game.
Bucks: Like he has against seemingly every team in the league, Antetokounmpo has enjoyed great individual success playing against New York. Entering the matinee, Antetokounmpo averaged 21. 9 points, 9.8 rebounds and four assists in 28 career games — including 25 starts — against the Knicks. He started quickly Sunday, having a hand in Milwaukee’s first nine points (four points, two assists) and finished the first quarter with eight points, four rebounds, and two assists.
Knicks: New York entered the game significantly shorthanded. Starting swingman R.J. Barrett and key reserve Obi Toppin missed the game because they are in the league’s health and safety protocols, and the team announced before the game that starting point guard Alec Burks was out due to personal reasons. Coach Tom Thibodeau started Rose in place of Burks and Grimes replaced Barrett.
University of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, was in attendance at Madison Square Garden. Young was shown on the video board during a stoppage in play late in the third quarter and received an ovation from the sellout crowd of 19,812.
Bucks: Visit Boston on Monday night.
Knicks: Host Golden State on Tuesday night.
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