The heroics weren’t in the cards tonight at Madison Square Garden, as the Milwaukee Bucks fell to the New York Knicks, 136-134 in overtime. Following the Knicks building off the home energy in the first, Milwaukee recaptured it with a Giannis dunk, rattling off a 13-0 run at one point to lead 35-28 after one. The pesky Knicks hit enough shots to let the Bucks only lead 66-61 at half. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 12 points and eight rebounds in the first 24 minutes of play.
Milwaukee grabbed an extensive lead partway through the third, but allowed the Knicks to make it just 97-93 heading into the fourth. They drew up a play with the game tied, and while Giannis mirrored his stepback jumper from a few years ago in New York, this one airballed to send it into OT.
In overtime, GIannis and Eric Bledsoe led the charge to try and keep the Bucks in it, but the Knicks hot-shooting continued, along with a number of suspect shooting foul calls (and non-calls, and the Bucks lost on the road. This loss, unlike some of the recent ones to lower teams, feels far more a product of a complete outlier shooting performance. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the best the Knicks shoot from deep (and considering volume) all season-long.
Giannis Antetokounmpo played facilitator for much of the first three quarters, but started turning on the scoring late, finishing with 33 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists with three steals and two blocks.
Malcolm Brogdon continued his hot streak from the field, going 9-12 (4-5 from deep) to tally up 22 points on the evening. Eric Bledsoe was the other standout Buck on the day, playing well within himself to add up to 27 points and seven assists after just three shot attempts in the prior game against the Bulls. Matt Velazquez also kindly got an answer as to why Khris Middleton barely played.
Talked to Khris Middleton, who said he got benched, “plain and simple.” Said it was on him for missing defensive assignments, not competing at the necessary level.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) December 2, 2018
For the Knicks, Kevin Knox emerged as the star player, with a banner block against Brook Lopez and going off for 26 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. contributed 21 points with Emmanuel Mudiay also getting in on the action at 28 points and solid shotmaking late. Damyean Dotson also went a ludicrous 5-5 from deep for 21 points.
Stat That Stood Out
If you were looking for a reason why the New York Knicks, a sad sack team, happened to make tonight a game, look no further than their 3-point shooting. Going 20-34 (58.8%) on the night, they far exceeded their 33.7% average from deep, ranked 25th in the league. Even Emmanuel Freakin’ Mudiay was stroking it from deep. Couple that with nailing some really difficult midrange and in-between jumpers, and that’s how a lower-level team makes it a tight game.