Knicks Can’t Stop Giannis and Bucks from Advancing in In-Season Tournament
The New York Knicks have been eliminated from the in-season tournament in a wild 146-122 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Julius Randle remained on fire for the Knicks, leading all scorers with 41 points on 14-of-19 shooting, which included sinking 11 free throws.
Randle, who drew the ire of Knicks fans last year for his effort, is putting up MVP numbers of late. After a sluggish start to the year, he averaged 22 points a game in November and is already averaging 30 points a game in December.
Even with Randle’s offensive outburst, it wasn’t enough as the Knicks’ defense failed to come up big against the Bucks. Milwaukee shot 61 percent from downtown and finished shooting 60.4 percent from the floor overall.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a man on a mission. The two-time League MVP and former NBA Finals MVP looked the part on Tuesday, recording 35 points in the win for the Bucks.
Meanwhile, Damian Lillard got into the action, adding 28 points, including going 5-of-7 from downtown to assist Antetokounmpo in sinking the Knicks.
At one point the Knicks trailed by only five points, 79-74, in the third quarter before Antetokounmpo went off with a slam dunk and a free throw at the 9:54 mark of the third quarter. Moments later Brook Lopez drilled a long-range three-pointer to push Milwaukee’s lead up to nine.
After a pair of free throws by Randle brought the Knicks to within seven points, the Bucks rallied off an 8-0 run to extend its lead to 15 points, 93-78, with seven minutes left in the quarter.
The Knicks would never get close again.
As a result of their loss in the in-season tournament, the Knicks will face the Celtics (who lost to Indiana in their quarterfinal game) on December 8.