Bucks defeat Knicks 103-89

The Milwaukee Bucks have had the best two-plus weeks of their season since parting ways with former head coach Jason Kidd. Tuesday night was more of the same as they defeated the New York Knicks 103-89 on the road.

All-star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points and 11 rebounds, but the story of the night was his first half dunk where he jumped over guard Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Knicks.

Hardaway Jr. is listed at 6-foot-6, Antetokounmpo jumping over him resulted in the internet going crazy over the play, one that is sure to be rewatched millions of times in the coming days.

Antetokounmpo didn’t need to carry the entire load for the Bucks in the win, however. Guard Eric Bledsoe and forward Khris Middleton scored 23 and 20 points, respectively, and guard Sean Kilpatrick added in 16 points off the bench.

The Knicks were led by big man Enes Kanter. He had 19 points and 16 rebounds in the loss. All-Star forward Kristaps Porzinigs went down in the first half with a knee injury and did not return. The team announced late Tuesday night that he sustained a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season.

Forward Jabari Parker, who is just returning from a torn ACL himself, scored 10 points in his third game this season. He has reached double-figures in each of the three games he’s played.

The Bucks are now 7-1 since interim head coach Joe Prunty took over the team, however only of one those victories came against a team with a record better than .500 on the season.

Last shots: Bucks 92, Knicks 90

MILWAUKEE – Eighteen last shots for the 18 assists dished out by the Milwaukee Bucks in their 92-90 win over the New York Knicks on Friday night.

1. Forward Jabari Parker returned to game action for the first time since he tore his left ACL on February 8, 2017. Parker was restricted to roughly 15 minutes on the floor by the team.

2. Parker was happy with his performance, and he should have been. He was aggressive from the start. Parker finished with 12 points on the night, which was second to only Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 29 on the team.

3. “It felt great,” Parker said. “Honestly, training myself to think about [his first game] is just getting better. It’s not going to take just one game [or] a few games. It’s a whole process.

4. “I was just trying to stay composed and not trying to get carried away. Honestly, [I was] pretty much distracted because I heard the crowd. I had to calm down and teach myself, ‘You’ve still got to play. You’ve still got to play. Show the people what I’ve been working so hard on.’”

5. Parker checked in with 5:25 left in the first quarter. It did take him two tries to get into the game, however. Parker was at the scorer’s table while New York’s Tim Hardaway Jr. was fouled on a 3-pointer. Parker then attempted to come on the floor following the first free throw attempt. He was then ushered back to the scorers’ table until after Hardaway Jr. shot his second of three.

6. Then, the crowd officially welcomed Parker back to basketball.

7. “I’m proud of him,” forward Khris Middleton said. “It’s tough to go through what he went through twice, then come back and play like nothing has ever happened. It’s great. I know there was a lot going through his mind, but he did a great job of going out there and playing basketball.”

8. Parker played in each of the first three quarters before coming close to his restriction. At the start of the fourth quarter he had already played 14:48.

9. Down the stretch Milwaukee relied on Antetokounmpo, as the usually do. He had 16 of his 29 points in the second half, with 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter. Antetokounmpo scored his final points with 1.9 seconds remaining in the game to lift the Bucks to victory.

10. The final play was made possible as the result of a few stops by the Bucks on the defensive end. They forced Knicks center Enes Kanter into a missed shot in the lane with 24.5 remaining. Antetokounmpo rebounded the miss before advancing the ball, draining the clock, and getting to the rim.

11. The Knicks forced a 30-foot 3-point attempt by Hardaway Jr. that fell short as time expired. In total, the Knicks shot 5-25 on 3-pointers. That includes a 0-of-9 mark from Hardaway Jr. He finished with six points.

12. New York was led by both Kanter and All-Star Kristaps Porzingis. They each had 17 points on the night. Porzingis did so on 6-of-15 from the floor. Kanter was a much more efficient 8-13, and added in a game-high 18 rebounds as well.

13. While the game was close and certainly exciting down the stretch, saying it was well played would be a stretch. The Bucks were forced to overcome a number of things in order to earn the victory. They definitely deserve the credit for doing so, but it wasn’t the best performance Milwaukee has had to date.

14. The Bucks will need to overcome the absence of guard Malcolm Brogdon for the next 6-to-8 weeks. Brogdon suffered a left quadriceps tendon injury in the team’s loss in Minnesota on Thursday night.

15. The subsequent MRI revealed that he has a partially torn tendon. As things stand now, the 6-to-8-week timetable would bring the guard back to the court in late March. That leaves two weeks for the team to try and reincorporate him before the playoffs begin.

16. Brogdon’s injury certainly hurts the depth at the guard position moving forward, and on Friday night Eric Bledsoe’s foul trouble was a cause for concern as well. Bledsoe missed Thursday’s game with an ankle injury but played on Friday. Bledsoe played 20:31 before fouling out. He finished with seven points, three assists, and a rebound. Certainly a night for him to forget.

17. This meant guard Matthew Dellavedova saw over 27 minutes on the floor for the Milwaukee. He finished with four points on 1-of-5 shooting. The team will obviously be able to count on Bledsoe more nights than not, but Dellavedova certainly didn’t play his best game filling in.

18. The Bucks return to action on Sunday morning at 11AM (CT) on the road against the Brooklyn Nets to start a four-game road trip. That trip will hit both Brooklyn and the Knicks before heading south and taking on the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.

Knicks overcome 18-point deficit to beat Bucks 116-111

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks looked like they had the game in control until blowing a 13-point lead entering the fourth quarter, falling to the New York Knicks 116-111 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Friday night.

The Knicks battled back from an 18-point hole to end a six-game losing streak. A big part of that was Carmelo Anthony’s 26 points and 10 rebounds, including the clutch three-pointer late in the fourth quarter that secured the win.

”It felt good. I’m glad it went in,” Anthony said. ”You don’t make it if you don’t take it.”

Anthony was supported by the return of Kristaps Porzingis, who came back from an Achilles injury that held him out the previous three games. Porzingis not only provided a big body in the paint on defense, but his 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting helped overcome the 100-plus points New York has allowed in its last seven games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker gave the Bucks 25 points apiece, but lock-down defense by the Knicks only allowed Milwaukee to score 15 points in the final quarter.

”After halftime, we relaxed and didn’t move the ball real well,” Antetokounmpo said. ”We were taking tough shots and we weren’t playing our game. We had a chance to put them away, but we didn’t.”