Antetokounmpo paces Bucks past Knicks to home-and-home sweep
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 14 rebounds, Khris Middleton added 25 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the New York Knicks 112-96 on Thursday night for their sixth win in seven games.
The Bucks swept the home-and-home series, having won at New York 109-95 on Christmas.
Luke Kornet, making his first start of the season in place of Enes Kantner, tied a career high with 23 points, and Noah Vonleh added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks. New York, playing without leading scorer Tim Hardaway Jr. because of an illness, lost its sixth straight.
Kanter was ejected with 9:56 left in the fourth quarter after being assessed two technical fouls. Antetokounmpo drove to the basket and was knocked down by Kanter, although no foul was called. The two got into a brief altercation as Antetokounmpo ran back up the court. Each player was called for a technical, then Kanter was called for a second.
Milwaukee erased an early 10-point deficit and led 53-48 at half. The Bucks extended the lead to 87-77 entering the final period.
Milwaukee used an 18-2 run midway through the second quarter to open a 44-37 lead. New York scored the final four points of the half to pull within 53-48.
The Bucks, who entered second in the league in both 3-pointers made and attempted, missed their first eight 3-point attempts.
New York went up 23-13 on Kevin Knox's 3-pointer with 4:40 left in the first quarter, but Milwaukee responded with an 11-2 run.
Knicks: New York opened a six-game road trip, which now heads west for five games that include teams with four of the six best records in the Western Conference. "I think it's good for us," Knicks coach David Fizdale said. "Fifteen days out and just us, together going through the gauntlet of good teams. I think that's a great experience for this team."
Bucks: Milwaukee opened a six-game homestand against the Knicks, who entered 9-26. Of the next five opponents, only Toronto (26-10) is above .500.
Knicks: Visit Utah on Saturday.
Bucks: Host Brooklyn on Saturday.