Bucks lose focus in loss to Knicks
NEW YORK -- Kristaps Porzingis leaped from one side of the rim, extended his arm as far as his 7-foot-3 frame would allow to grab the missed shot, and dunked the ball from the other side.
"Only somebody like him could make that play, make that dunk," Carmelo Anthony said.
Actually, it looked as if all the Knicks had highlights in a high-flying third quarter.
Anthony had 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and the Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 100-88 on Sunday night.
The Knicks broke it open in the third by outshooting and outdunking one of the NBA's most athletic teams. Porzingis was at the forefront, with a sensational follow dunk on one end and a blocked shot on the other as the Knicks began pouring it on in the middle of the period.
"Every spectacular play we have, we just gain energy from that on the defensive end and we're able to play better, more together as a team on the defensive end, just because we have that energy from that highlight or whatever happened," Porzingis said.
He had 15 points and five blocked shots to help the Knicks win for the fourth time in five games. He hit a deep 3-pointer in the third, but his putback dunk, when the rookie's arm seemed to reach up from one side of the rim and dunk it from the other, stood out.
"He plays the game in a lot of ways," Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said. "Offensively, he made a tough 3. He blocked a lot of shots. Just makes it tough for us. Our game is to finish in the paint and he made it really tough for us tonight."
Greg Monroe had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, and Khris Middleton added 20. They have lost three of four.
"Midway through the second (quarter) I thought they made a push and continued that," Bucks acting coach Joe Prunty said. Then it continued into the third quarter."
The Knicks bounced back emphatically after falling by one Friday night in their bid to hand San Antonio its first home loss. They led by 10 at halftime before their third-quarter clinic in which they outscored the Bucks 31-19.
And they did it from all over the court, with Lance Thomas driving the baseline for another power slam and hitting one of New York's four 3-pointers after it had just one in the first half.
"You can just feel the vibe. You could feel the energy when we're playing like that," Anthony said.
Anthony scored nine points in the quarter on four jumpers, one created by Porzingis' block of Jabari Parker's shot.
Bucks: Michael Carter-Williams was 1 for 8 from the field and finished with four points, six assists and five rebounds. He had double-doubles in his previous two games. . . . The Bucks had their three-game winning streak at Madison Square Garden snapped.
Knicks: Thomas and Robin Lopez each scored 13 points. . . . New York salvaged a split of the season series, having dropped the last two after beating the Bucks in the season opener.
Coach Jason Kidd traveled with the Bucks for the first time since right hip surgery last month, coming to New York to meet with his doctor and get an X-ray. Kidd had the procedure Dec. 21 at the Hospital for Special Surgery and there is no timetable for his return.
Anthony had at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the third time this season, but he fell two assists short of the triple-double he wanted.
"Most games I don't realize that I have it," he said. "Tonight I realized it and I really did try to get it tonight. It's tough to get it though."
Bucks: Host Chicago on Tuesday night.
Knicks: Host Boston on Tuesday night.