Big second half lifts Bucks over Knicks

EditorsNote: Tweaks throughout

Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton each had 22 points to lead all five starters in double figures as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the host New York Knicks, 115-102, on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Jarrett Jack had a team-high 18 points off the bench to lead the Knicks, who dropped their fifth game in their last six contests.

New York (28-52) failed to score for a four-minute stretch late in the fourth quarter as the Bucks broke open the game, securing the first double-digit lead for either team. Milwaukee trailed 95-94 with 5:51 left in the game, but the Bucks used a 12-0 run to go up 11 before cruising to the win.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined with ankle soreness, Milwaukee moved to 4-0 against the Knicks this season. Shabazz Muhammad (ankle sprain), Matthew Dellavedova (ankle) and Sterling Brown (personal reasons) also missed the game.

Jabari Parker had 16 points and John Henson added 15 for the Bucks (43-37), who bounced back from a bad loss to Brooklyn to win for the fourth time in six games.

With Enes Kanter sidelined for the Knicks, Kyle O’Quinn once again got the start at center and became the first Knick since Patrick Ewing in 1999 to have at least 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in three straight contests, as he finished with 15 points, 16 rebounds (eight offensive) and four blocks. Courtney Lee had 14 points and Michael Beasley added 13 points for the Knicks, who played without Tim Hardaway Jr. (ankle).

New York bounced back from a three-point deficit after the first period to outscore Milwaukee, 27-22, in the second quarter, heading into halftime up 55-53. Jack had 11 points off the bench on 4-of-9 shooting, and O’Quinn had 10 points and nine rebounds in the first half as the Knicks shot 48 percent from the field and had just two turnovers.

New York closes its season with a home-and-home against the Cleveland Cavaliers, hosting LeBron James & Co. on Monday at Madison Square Garden before traveling to Cleveland on Wednesday.

Milwaukee plays Orlando on Monday for its last home game of the season before closing the 2017-18 campaign on Wednesday at Philadelphia.

--Field Level Media