BUCKS 119 KNICKS 114 | BRADLEY CENTER
How it happened:
Despite a red-hot start to the final road contest on the four-game trip, the Knicks suffered a narrow 119-114 loss to the Bucks on Friday night.
Milwaukee took control of the game by outscoring New York 32-18 in the third quarter as Brandon Jennings, Mike Dunleavy, and Ersan Ilyasova combined for 27 points. The Bucks extended the advantage early in the final period with a commanding 108-93 lead. However, behind Baron Davis, the Knicks quickly battled back and cut the deficit to just one point with 1:29 remaining on the clock.
The defining moment occurred when Jeremy Lin forced an air-ball from Brandon Jennings and Drew Gooden tipped the rock high in the air, which led to an open tip for Ilyasova. The bucket provided the Bucks with a 116-113 lead with just 28.7 seconds remaining.
Carmelo Anthony drove hard to the rack after Milwaukee committed a five seconds inbounds violation. The dunk attempt hit the back iron and Anthony hit 1-of-2 free throws but the Knicks could not climb the mountain and fell for the fourth straight game.
Offense was not the issue as Stoudemire registered 27 points, Anthony scored 22, Fields posted 18, Lin tallied 20 and 13 assists. In fact, New York shot 55 percent from the floor, 41 percent beyond the arc, and 15-of-21 at the stripe.
News and Notes:
At Friday's shootaround, head coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters that Tyson Chandler would most likely miss his second straight contest due to a strained left hamstring. Chandler did not receive court time and Jared Jeffries was sidelined once again with a sore knee.
D’Antoni also discussed a potential lineup change to match the Bucks’ small and quick starting five. The Knicks head man placed J.R. Smith in the starting lineup at the shooting guard spot, Landry Fields at small forward, Anthony then shifted to power forward, and Stoudemire anchored the middle at center.
Through the first seven minutes of the contest, New York’s offense was nearly flawless by hitting its first 11 field goals and scoring 26 points.
Stoudemire did most of his damage in the paint, connecting on 11-of-15 shots from the floor. The move to center might have helped the big man, considering the Knicks run a high number of pick-and-rolls for the 5-man. Stoudemire also racked up 11 boards in 36 minutes of action.
With the four-game road trip in the Knicks' rear view mirror, the team traveled back to New York and will have a day to prepare for an early 12 PM game against the Sixers on Sunday.