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Milwaukee vs. New York: Bucks Close Out Knicks, 123-108

Milwaukee uses a strong fourth to seal the victory

NBA: New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

In an extremely late tip-off, the Bucks were able to knock off the New York Knicks by a score of 123-108.

Both teams would come out to flying starts to begin this one. The Bucks would line up a shooting percentage of 50 percent and the Knicks would shoot 40 percent from the floor. Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers after one, totaling 13 points. That granted the Bucks a 39-30 advantage after one.

Milwaukee would be up for double-digits for most of the second quarter, but the Knicks used a lapse of play in the Bucks to come back and make things single-digits. Turnovers and fouls were the combination that let New York back into it, and they took major advantage by slicing the Bucks’ lead to just four going into the half, 67-63.

Cold shooting in the third quarter, particularly from the 3-point line, prevented the Bucks from advancing their lead any further. Though the Knicks would never hold the lead in the period, they always were on Milwaukee’s heels. Going into the final quarter of regulation, Milwaukee led by a score of 93-88.

As we’ve seen so many times before, Giannis really took over in the fourth. He erupted and really began to pad his stat line, which resulted in a massive outing. It helped Milwaukee put the final touches on a 123-108 victory.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers in this one, posting a final stat line of 38 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists. Jrue Holiday had a crafty outing, carving out 24 points. Khris Middleton strung together another 20+ point outing, finish with 20 right on the nose.

Evan Fournier led the way for New York, concluding his outing with 25 points. RJ Barret capped his evening with 23 points.

The Bucks will now face off against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Sunday evening at Fiserv Forum.

Three Observations

Jrue Holiday had a strong performance from beyond the arc.

Coming into last night, Jrue Holiday’s game-high from deep was four. He’d end up tying that last night. We all know that Holiday brings an aggressiveness to his game and can really drive the basketball, so it’s quite promising to see him stroke it from deep as well. It was clear that his hot shooting in the first half was contagious, as it really helped spark a hot shooting quarter for Milwaukee. He won’t be shooting this strong from deep every game, so it was nice to see in this one. In his postgame availability, he mentioned that it was as simple as him getting good looks and that his shot was just going in.

Giannis took control of this one late.

The Knicks had kept this one close for a majority of the game, but once the fourth quarter rolled around, the game slipped out of their hands. Why? Thanks to the play of Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’d really start to come alive, as a deep three caused New York to call a timeout and seemingly erased any chances they had of winning. He then found Grayson Allen on a wild no-look over the shoulder pass, who then connected on the trey. Antetokounmpo would end up finishing with 38 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists...here’s a neat fact regarding that stat line:

Khris Middleton continues to have a red-hot January.

In the month of January, Khris Middleton is averaging 23.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game when shooting 49% overall, 45.5% from three, and 90.5% from the free-throw line. Last night marked his tenth 20-point performance of the month. Although he may not get the nod, he’s definitely playing at an All-Star caliber level. After a rough start to he year, he seems to be finding his groove as of late.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Tonight’s win gives Milwaukee its third season series win over New York in the last four seasons.
  • In his first game back following his suspension, Grayson Allen tallied 15 points, including several 3-pointers. It’ll be nice for the Bucks to have his shooting back moving forward.
  • I mentioned that crazy Giannis pass...here it is:
  • The Bucks finally one a third quarter...by one point. This was the first time that they’ve achieved that since January 7th.
  • This was filthy from Jrue Holiday:
  • Here’s Giannis being Giannis:
  • Donte really was all over the place last night. He made a few nifty saves as he dove out of bounds. If there’s one thing you can say about his play, it’s that he always goes 110%.
  • Grayson Allen spoke to the media for the first time following his suspension for his foul on Alex Caruso:
  • I am TIRED. This was an extremely late tip-off, and I’ll be rewarding myself for covering this one by going to the best fast-food restaurant there is...Taco Bell. I hear a Crunchwrap Supreme, Quesarito, and Baja Blast calling my name. Fingers crossed Nacho Fries are back too.