Tonight at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, the Knicks (10-4) defeated the Milwaukee Bucks (7-6) by the score of 102-88. Box Score
Steve Novak returned to Milwaukee and scored a season high 19 points while shooting 5-7 from three in a season high 39 minutes.
Beno Udrith and Brandon Jennings tied for the team lead in points for the Bucks with 18. Jennings was a -24. Him and Monta Ellis did not play in the fourth quarter.
After scoring only 13 points in the loss against the Nets, the bench scored 44 points with Novak and Pablo Prigioni combining for 30.
The Knicks broke a three game road losing streak.
The Knicks move to 7-1 this season against the Eastern Conference and 5-4 on the road.
As I wrote in the pre game, the Bradley Center has always been a house of horrors for the Knicks the past few seasons. But tonight it was not to be the case. After a back and forth first quarter and most of the second, the Knicks used a 25-6 run covering the end of the 2nd, beginning of the 3rd to put this game away and get a win after the tough loss last time out.
I have to start with the performances off the bench of Steve Novak and Pablo Prigioni as they were key in the middle quarters to helping the Knicks pull away from the Bucks. Novak played 39 minutes and earned every one of those minutes and it wasn’t just because he was back home. He shot the ball very well again as it looks like his slump is over and played defense which is a big reason why Mike Woodson kept him out there.
Pablo Prigioni, with Jason Kidd out again with back spasms, was great tonight off the bench. His pass first mentality really helps keep the ball movement the Knicks need every game, going. He was 4-5 from the field for 11 points and seven assists but his leadership and smarts on the court were just as important tonight.
Carmelo Anthony is a joy to watch night in and night out and once again he was a force to be reckoned with against the Bucks. The Bucks had no answer for him as once again he had no trouble playing in the post, hitting his mid range jumper, driving to the bucket at will and when in rhythm knocked down threes that barely hit the rim. He has led the team in scoring in every game but one and his effort and intensity during the season to this point has rubbed off on the entire team. When he plays like he did tonight, the Knicks are going to be almost unbeatable.
Raymond Felton bounced back in a very nice way tonight as he had 12 points on 5-10 shooting to go along with seven assists, three rebounds and four steals after his rough outing on Monday. He has played well all season but after the nightmare against the Nets, it was great to see him get back to his strong play and be confident again with his game especially with Jason Kidd out.
Tyson Chandler also had a strong game with 17 points on 4-4 shooting and 9-10 from the free throw line. He has hit 32 of his last 36 shots and has been much better from the free throw line recently as well. He also had eight rebounds which was tied with Melo for the team lead.
Scott Skiles demands a lot from his players and won’t take to kindly to poor play. Clearly he felt that Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis just weren’t doing what he wanted. Considering they had 35 of his team’s 70 after three quarters, the problem certainly wasn’t the scoring. He did bench his starters when the Bucks made their comeback over the Bulls on Monday but lightning like that doesn’t strike twice. The Knicks in the fourth didn’t play Melo as the game was looking like a blowout but the Bucks did get within range for Jennings and Ellis to come back and make more of a game of it. Skiles though, decided not to do it and let them hang out on the bench for the rest of the game. With the way they looked early on, I don’t think we mind it one bit that Skiles decided to make this move against the Knicks.
This was a nice, solid win for the Knicks while getting Melo some rest and a nice bounce back effort from Felton as well. Winning on the road is important in the NBA and breaking a three game losing streak on the road before heading home for the next two is nice and makes the plane ride home feel a lot better. The Knicks looked like the team that won six in a row to start the season and we can all hope this continues into the next game against the Wizards.
Coming up next, the Knicks will head back home to Madison Square Garden on Friday night as they take on Nene, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards, at 7:30 PM. The game will be on MSG