October 23, 2018 / 2:57 AM / 24 days ago

Antetokounmpo, Middleton lead 3-0 Bucks past Knicks

EditorsNote: rewords lede

Brook Lopez converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 2:55 left in the fourth quarter Monday night as the host Milwaukee Bucks withstood a furious second-half rally to beat the New York Knicks 124-113.

Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 31 points and 15 rebounds — both game highs — for the Bucks, who are 3-0 for just the eighth time in franchise history. Milwaukee has opened 4-0 or better only twice, most recently during the 2001-02 season.

Eric Bledsoe (16 points, 13 assists) also had a double-double for the Bucks, who received 30 points from Khris Middleton. Lopez (13 points), Malcolm Brogdon (11 points) and Ersan Ilyasova (10 points) also scored in double figures.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a team-high 24 points for the Knicks, who have lost three straight by a total of 15 points. Enes Kanter had 14 points and 13 rebounds for New York, which also received double-digit scoring efforts from Trey Burke (19 points), Mario Hezonja (18 points), Damyean Dotson (14 points) and Noah Vonleh (11 points).

The Bucks appeared on their way to an easy victory when they took a 71-52 lead into halftime. However, Burke scored 13 of his points in the third quarter, during which the Knicks went on a 35-17 run to pull within one.

The Knicks took their only lead at 95-94 with 9:28 left on Vonleh’s put-back. New York tied the game four more times, the last on Hardaway’s 3-pointer with 3:42 remaining.

However, Lopez’s three-point play began a game-ending 14-3 run by the Bucks. After Hardaway missed a 3-pointer, Middleton drained a 3-pointer to double Milwaukee’s lead to 116-110.

Kanter’s tip-in with 2:02 left was the last field goal for New York, which missed its last five shots from the field. The Bucks pulled away thanks to 3-pointers by Bledsoe and Middleton on consecutive possessions.

—Field Level Media

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