KNICKS 111 BUCKS 107 | BRADLEY CENTER
How it happened:
In an eerily similar game to the March 9 matchup in Milwaukee, the Knicks jumped out to a 30-18 lead and featured even distribution throughout the starting lineup. Each player in that group had at least four points while New York was hitting 82 percent from the floor.
Behind the three-headed monster of Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, and Mike Dunleavy, the Bucks roared back on a 15-2 run over the first 3 and a half minutes of the second period. New York’s shooting percentage dipped to 37.5 in the period while Ellis scored 21 in the half, followed by Dunleavy’s 16 points off the pine. After 24 minutes of action, the two squads fighting for the seventh or eighth spot in the playoffs were tied at 62-62.
Anthony came out of the locker room scoring seven points in the first 3 minutes of the third quarter but once again, Milwaukee fought back. Ellis and Jennings connected on back-to-back layups, which forced interim head coach Mike Woodson to call a timeout late in the quarter. Shumpert provided a spark to conclude the period with a spectacular cross-over and layup to beat the buzzer while the Knicks faced a four-point deficit. Anthony continued to execute on the offensive end of the floor with 25 points heading into the final quarter.
After the Bucks captured a 94-88 lead in the fourth period, New York locked down on defense while turning to its All-Star. Anthony drilled a floating jumper and was fouled on the play to knock Milwaukee’s lead down to 94-91 with 8:12 left in the game. Two minutes later, out of the time out, Anthony found Novak curling for a 16-footer before the Marquette standout drilled 3-poitner to tie the game at 96-96.
Less than three minutes remained and Jennings looked to call for a timeout but Shumpert stole the rock, missed the layup, and the loose ball bounced to Smith, who was fouled on the play. Smith connected on both free throws to hand New York a 101-99 lead.
Another crazy sequence occurred at the 1:45 mark when several loose balls bounced out to the Bucks and Ellis eventually received an opportunity and sunk the long bomb to place Milwaukee back on top 105-103. Out of the timeout, Anthony caught the ball near the block (his sweet spot), gathered with his back to the basket, faked one way and turned the other for a fading jumper. The clutch bucket tied the game at 105-105 with 1:32 left in the contest. Smith delivered another huge shot at 1:04 to give the Knicks a 108-107 advantage after Mbah a Moute hit a putback layup on the other end.
Milwaukee could not execute down the stretch, missing several shots from long range and they were forced to foul in desperation. New York secured the 111-107 thrilling win to even the season series, and improved to 30-28 on the season.
Anthony’s late game shots were simply amazing as he battled through several shots on his sore wrists. The All-Star has lived up to his billing in the month of April and finished with a team-high 32 points in the victory. In 41 minutes of action, Anthony shot 13-of-26 from the floor, 2-of-4 behind the arc, and grabbed 10 boards.
Chandler registered a double-double tonight, working the glass for 11 boards. He scored 19 points on a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor. Shumpert had a nice all-around game while playing a ton of minutes at the point guard spot. The rookie tallied 16 points, six boards, and five assists.
The Knicks worked hard on the glass on Wednesday night and it paid off with 23 second chance points as opposed to the Bucks eight points.
State of the Playoffs:
The win was huge as New York has now gained two games on Milwaukee for the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference standings. As of Wednesday night, the Knicks only trail Philadelphia by one game for No. 7.
The Knicks concluded the two-game Midwest trip and traveled back to New York with a day off on Thursday. Prior to hosting Miami in a highly anticipated Sunday matchup, the Knicks will face Washington on Friday at Madison square Garden.