EditorsNote: revised with confirmation of Porzingis’ injury
The New York Knicks lost a game and their star player Tuesday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as the visiting Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in a game that included New York’s Kristaps Porzingis tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament.
Eric Bledsoe also scored 23 points and Khris Middleton added 20 for Milwaukee.
Enes Kanter had 19 points and 16 rebounds and Courtney Lee added 14 points for the Knicks, who lost leading scorer Porzingis midway through the second quarter.
New York (23-32) dropped its fourth straight game to fall a season-worst nine games under .500.
The Bucks (30-23) won for the sixth time in seven games and for the third straight game since former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker returned to the team after a long absence while he recovered from a torn ACL. Parker had 10 points on Tuesday.
The game turned with 8:46 left in the second quarter, soon after Porzingis’ knee did the same.
Porzingis was fouled by Antetokounmpo while attempting to dunk, and the Knicks star came down on Antetokounmpo’s foot as he landed. Porzingis collapsed to the floor clutching his left leg and was on the ground for several minutes before needing to be helped off the court by trainers.
An MRI exam revealed the ACL tear, and Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania reported that Porzingis would undergo season-ending surgery.
New York was leading 31-30 at the time of injury, and Porzingis was off to a great start in the game, scoring 10 points after hitting four of his first five shots. His absence didn’t even seem to really impact his team, at least for a few minutes — New York went on an 8-0 run to claim a 39-30 lead with 7:12 left in the half.
Milwaukee then reeled off a 16-6 run to take a two-point lead before going into the half up by four. The Bucks kicked it up another notch in the third quarter, holding the Knicks to six points in the first six minutes of the half before eventually going up by as much as 21 in the period. New York cut its deficit to as low as 12 late in the fourth, but Milwaukee cruised to the easy win.
The Bucks lost the rebounding battle, 47-43, but held New York to just 41.6 percent shooting from the field and 21.7 percent from 3-point range. Milwaukee hit 45.1 percent of its field-goal attempts and 30.8 percent of its 3-point tries.
—Field Level Media