clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Milwaukee vs. New York: Bucks Topple Knicks, 119-108

Giannis falls one assist shy of a triple-double with a 30/14/9 stat line

NBA: New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Following a strong third quarter, the Bucks were able to take care of business against the New York Knicks, posting a 119-108 victory.

Right away to begin this one, Giannis picked up where he left off, snapping off a quick flurry of points to get Milwaukee rolling. Cold shooting plagued them a little bit in the opening quarter, as the team went just 1-of-10 from deep. However, their defense remained strong, keeping the Knicks at bay. A tip-in from Bobby Portis as the buzzer sounded gave them a two-point lead going into the second, 26-24.

Things would be razor thin throughout the bulk of the second quarter, with neither team able to rattle off any streams of momentum. There were also some questionable calls from the referees that didn’t give the Bucks any favors. Late in the quarter, Milwaukee began to pull away, as Giannis’ 18 first-half points helped pad their lead to 59-53.

After showing flashes late in the second quarter, Milwaukee really came out strong to begin the second half. They’d immediately jump out to a double-digit lead thank to some sharpshooting from Jrue Holiday, then quickly re-gain that margin right after the Knicks came back with a punch. In the blink of an eye, it was a 20+ point lead. While things weren’t as big as they once were, the Bucks held onto a serviceable double-digit advantage heading into the fourth, 96-85.

Though there’d be a little bit of a struggle at times for the offense to get clicking again, the defense remained strong for the Bucks, forcing tough opportunities for the Knicks. Everything still went well for Milwaukee, with the only sour moment being Giannis being unable to get his tenth assist. They’d put the final touches on a 119-108 victory.

As you probably expected, Giannis Antetokounmpo was the main force for Milwaukee, finishing an assist shy of a triple-double. His final stat line would read 30/14/9. Every starter would score double-digits, along with 12 off the bench from both Bobby Portis and George Hill.

RJ Barrett led the scoring for New York, totaling 20 points.

The Bucks are back at it right away, taking on the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night at Fiserv Forum.

Three Observations

What a third quarter.

We all know that the Bucks are without two of their key players in Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton. However, you would’ve hardly known that they were without them if you looked at that third quarter box score. In what seemed like a matter of moments, Milwaukee was able to jump out to not just a double-digit lead, but rather a 20+ point lead. While it didn’t serve as the nail in the coffin, it was definitely the driving force that let out a lot of air of the Knicks’ balloon. It was impressive to watch that offensive display.

Jalen Brunson was never able to get going.

Jalen Brunson was a big off-season acquisition for the Knicks, and he’s been showing it so far this season. When asked about his guys’ efforts on Brunson, here’s what Mike Budenholzer had to say:

“I think we had a lot of guys that we could throw at Brunson tonight. Jevon, I think, he takes on and gives us an edge and makes things difficult on that spot. Then you can throw in George off the bench and Jrue. Then you got Brook and Giannis behind all those guys.”

It’s clear that defense continues to be the main point of emphasis for the Bucks. When you can hold a player of Brunson’s caliber to a frustrating shooting night (just 13 points on an ugly 3-of-10 shooting), it’s always a victory. It’s been fun seeing how Milwaukee matches up to these styles of players. So far, they’ve passed with flying colors. Trae Young vs. Jrue Holiday should be a very fun matchup to watch.

How about Grayson Allen?

After being referred to as trade bait by many Bucks fans throughout the off-season, Grayson Allen has put together a strong start to the campaign. Last night, he kept that going by totaling 17 points. He was quite the force from the perimeter, dialing in on four 3-pointers. Given the absence of Khris Middleton, the Bucks will be grateful for any night that he’s able to connect on the three ball like that. It was key in Milwaukee’s victory last night and will remain pivotal for them moving forward.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • This game was the first Classic Night of the season, and the Bucks finally did it. They brought back the PURPLE AND GREEN. The 90’s/early 2000’s vibes were flowing through Fiserv Forum in numerous ways. Who here remembers Streetlife???
  • The nostalgia was also strong for the pre-game intros:
  • Naturally, I had to ask Giannis for his opinion on last night’s jerseys. Here’s what he told me:
  • The one thing I wish the Bucks had for last night’s game? A purple and green court. And I want one with not just the logo in the center. Give me it all. I want the same Milwaukee fonts on the baselines. I want Fiserv Forum to be displayed on the court in the same placement and text that the Bradley Center was in the 90’s/2000’s. I WANT ALL OF THE VIBES.
  • Jrue Holiday’s step-backs continue to be simply dazzling. You think he’s going one way, then whoop! The total opposite direction. That makes my ankles hurt, and I’m up in the press box...not the court.
  • Jevon Carter earned a podium game and it didn’t disappoint:
  • Last, Brook Lopez continues to be a massive defensive anchor for the Bucks. So many players, along with Bud, are immediately giving him praise. He came into last night averaging 4.33 blocks per game, which is leading the league. He added three more to that last night. The Bucks have to be so happy to have him back.