At the start of their four-game road trip, the Milwaukee Bucks had a prime opportunity to bounce back from their last game and take on the New York Knicks. They succeeded, but just barely, taking this one 111-107.
Milwaukee got out to a decent start offensively, but Jrue Holiday got dinged with three personal fouls in the first few minutes of the game, and the already-anemic Bucks offense got further bogged down as a result. Joe Ingles helped inject some life – and MarJon Beauchamp injected some athleticism – as the Bucks trudged through the first quarter to a 22-22 tie. The energy continued to
vaccinate vacillate for both teams, as Milwaukee kept getting in their own way with turnovers and strange shot selection, while New York failed to mount a large enough run to capitalize. As the Bucks’ offense kept sinking into the muck, the Knicks eked out a 51-46 halftime advantage.
New York continued chipping away at the Bucks’ resolve, extending a sold 16-point lead before Milwaukee woke up and sank a flurry of threes to bring the deficit to only five points, trailing 78-73. The storm continued, in the Bucks’ favor, as Joe Ingles led the way and brought Milwaukee back into the lead with one of the sloppiest isolation possessions I’ve ever seen…and during a stretch of minutes where Giannis Antetokounmpo was on the bench.
As the fourth quarter continued, this otherwise-awful game turned into a heavyweight bout, with both teams hitting tough shots and muscling inside for buckets, and the lead swung back and forth. And then Jrue Holiday, who had been having a fairly bad game up until this point, nailed a step-back three with 47 seconds remaining, to give Milwaukee a 4-point edge.
The game was not over at that point, as Jalen Brunson did his best to bring the Knicks back from the brink. But the Bucks did not lose their cool, and they executed down the stretch to protect their lead and escape with the win.
Stat That Stood Out
Milwaukee was left for dead after the first half, but regained consciousness after halftime. Joe Ingles played a massive role in this turnaround, but the comeback victory was largely fueled by Milwaukee’s explosion of three point shooting. The Bucks hit 19 threes on 49 attempts, but 8 of their makes came in the final stanza of the game. Some of it was just open shots deciding to drop, but Milwaukee actually moved the ball around and found good shooters in good position far more than they have recently. It turned out to be just enough in a game where everyone – including me! – had written the team off and was starting to question whether they could turn it around. The rest of the season is still ahead and it’s too early to declare a reversal of fortunes, but for tonight…they did.