Author: Nick Osen
MILWAUKEE-Coming off the thriller at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks faced off again Friday in this nationally-televised showdown. Bucks star point-forward Giannis Antetokounmpo silenced the crowd at MSG after hitting his first career game-winner, and Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks would look to avenge that loss at the Bradley Center.
This game figured to be an exciting sequel to Wednesday, and the first quarter did not disappoint. After New York got off to a quick 9-0 start, Jabari Parker and the Bucks answered right back. Some early fun between two NBA “unicorns” was also a sight to see, with Giannis and Kristaps Porzingis going back and forth on several possessions in a row.
In a game filled with young stars, a couple veterans made some vintage plays in the first for the Knicks. Anthony hit a tough three for New York, while former MVP Derrick Rose put up six points and five assists in quarter one. For the home team, both Parker and the Greek Freak showed some of their capabilities, with 10 points and 11 points respectively, to help Milwaukee lead 33-32 after one.
After leading by a single point going into the second quarter, the Bucks opened on a 14-4 run to start the quarter. Antetokounmpo showed why he is likely to be an All-Star starter with slashing and long range shooting, while Mirza Teletovic came off the bench to hit two more from deep for nine points in the game to extend the lead 47-34.
In the nicest way possible, the New York Knickerbockers, with NBA MVP Derrick Rose, perennial All-Star Carmelo Anthony and young star Kristaps Porzingis, looked old and slow. Milwaukee outplayed the large-market team in all facets, and frankly, NY just looked disinterested, at one point trailing 61-43.
New York closed the first half on a 10-4 run, to trail 65-53 at the break.
To start the second half, the Knicks looked like the team on a mission, going on a 13-4 run in the first four minutes. Porzingis and Anthony led the run with nine points combined. Milwaukee had no problem answering New York’s run, going on a 9-0 run of their own to push the lead up to 10, 78-68.
Jabari threw down an incredible one-handed dunk on the fastbreak, which basically summarized the end of the third quarter for the Bucks. The team was able to do whatever they wanted at will, including a rare dunk for Tony Snell, and the home squad led 96-83 heading into the final quarter.
The Knicks owned the first three minutes of the final quarter, with New York exercising a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to 98-95 with eight and a half minutes left in regulation. A key was Bucks veteran guard Jason Terry getting called for a flagrant one for an above the shoulders hit on Ron Baker, which gave the Knicks some momentum.
The last half of the final quarter was an absolute treat for basketball fans, with non-stop back-and-forth action resulting in a Carmelo Anthony go-ahead three, and a Bucks turnover to help the Knicks pull off the comeback and grab the victory, 116-111.
The stars certainly performed well for both teams, with Anthony/Porzingis, and Parker/Antetokounmpo combining for 50 points per duo, respectively. With the loss, the Bucks remain over .500 with an 18-17 record, while the Knicks snap a six game losing streak and move to 17-19 on the season.