5 Things to Know: Locked at 1-1, the Season Series on the Line Between Knicks and Bucks
1. The Knicks discovered the right lineup in the crucial fourth quarter on Monday night to upend the Magic on the road. Kyle O’Quinn sparked New York after sitting for three quarters by scoring 11 points and grabbing eight boards in the final quarter. The big man helped the Knicks overcome a seven-point deficit heading into the fourth period as New York secured the season series over Orlando in the 113-105 win. Courtney Lee posted 20 points, Lance Thomas added 17, and Kristaps Porzingis registered 14.
2. Carmelo Anthony was sidelined on Monday night with a sore left knee. Head coach Jeff Hornacek confirmed at Wednesday morning’s shootaround that Anthony’s knee was feeling better and he would return to the starting lineup tonight in Milwaukee. Anthony is averaging 28 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in two outings against the Bucks this year.
3. A glance at the latest Eastern Conference standings reveals the Bucks and Knicks are on the outside looking in at the final spot for the postseason. Milwaukee (29-33) trails Chicago by 2.5 games for the eighth position and New York (26-38) is 5.5 games back. The Bucks have won three straight games and seven of their last 10 in the recent playoff push.
4. As mentioned above, Milwaukee is riding a three-game winning streak after a Monday night win over the Sixers. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Tony Snell combined for 45 points on 15-for-26 shooting from the floor. Head coach Jason Kidd used a staring group of Antetokounmpo, Snell, Khris Middleton, Maclolm Brogdon, and Thon Maker.
5. Tonight’s rubber match in Milwaukee will decide the season series between the two teams. The Knicks evened the series in the previous contest by rallying from 18 points down to stun the Bucks at home, 116-111. Milwaukee defeated New York in the first meeting 105-104 behind a buzzer-beater from Antetokounmpo.
by Jonah Ballow