The New York Knicks were able to outlast the shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks with a six-point victory on Saturday night. The Knicks came out hot, outscoring the Bucks 32-25 in the first quarter and holding strong to secure their 24th victory of the season. The Knicks are now tied for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
New York was led by Alec Burks, who finished with 21 points on 54% shooting. The Milwaukee Bucks were without their star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is day-to-day with a knee injury. Antetokounmpo's brother, Thanasis, had quite the night, however, tallying 23 points and 10 boards in the loss.
Five hits and flops from New York Knicks' road victory over Milwaukee Bucks
With the victory, the New York Knicks clinched their season series with the Milwaukee Bucks, two games to one. The two Eastern Conference contenders traded blowout victories in their first two meetings, but the Knicks will have the last laugh for now.
While this victory will be very satisfying for the New York Knicks and their supporters, the playoffs are still far away. The Knicks look undeniably strong in the second half, boasting one of the best defenses in the NBA.
Hit - New York Knicks Bench
The bench played a crucial role in this New York Knicks victory, tallying 43 points and upholding defensive pressure. Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley combined for 26 of the 43 bench points, making key contributions down the stretch.
Nerlens Noel had some great minutes off the bench as well, pulling in 11 boards while recording three blocks and two steals. The victory was a full-team effort, as the New York Knicks' defense prevailed once again.
Flop - Sam Merrill (Milwaukee Bucks)
With the Milwaukee Bucks missing some key pieces, they are left to rely on their role-players to fill the void. Sam Merrill recorded just over 28 minutes on the court tonight, but tallied just eight points on 30% shooting.
The former second-round pick averages just over six minutes per game, and his lack of experience was exploited against the tough New York Knicks defense.
Hit - Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
With his MVP brother out with a knee injury, Thanasis Antetokounmpo did everything he could to keep the Milwaukee Bucks in the game. The 28-year-old played 37 minutes, blowing out his season average of 8.7.
This performance could be just what Thanasis needed to earn more minutes in the future, possibly previewing an impressive brotherly duo in Milwaukee. This was the first double-double of his career, but the older Antetokounmpo brother could have just earned his way into the spotlight.
Flop - Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks)
Although Brook Lopez did not have a bad night statistically, he lost the paint battle against Nerlens Noel and earned a costly technical foul late in the game. Lopez tallied 12 points and 10 boards, but also had five turnovers and three personal fouls.
Lopez is typically a force in the paint, but Noel and Robinson of the New York Knicks were able to get the best of him tonight. The 7'0" Lopez is averaging just over 11 points per game thus far, more than five points less than his career average.
Hit - Alec Burks (New York Knicks)
On a streaky night of shooting as a team, Alec Burks was there to keep the rhythm for the New York Knicks. Burks tallied a team-high 21 points, also pulling in nine defensive rebounds, 10 total.
Burks is averaging just 13 points per game thus far, but his shots started falling early and he kept getting open looks. The Knicks seem to have a different star every night, but tonight, Alec Burks took the torch.