Brandon Jennings and Erasan Ilyasov led the Milwaukee Bucks to a sorely needed victory against the New York Knicks despite the efforts of Jeremy Lin, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Melo Anthony. The high scoring game was close up until the buzzer rang, ending at 119-114 on Fri. March 9 at Bradley Center.
The Knicks, who were missing starting players Jared Jeffries and Tyson Chandler, started off strong, shooting 11 for 11 and leading by four points at halftime. But by the end of the third quarter the Bucks had pulled ahead with a 10 point lead. As the final buzzer approached the Knicks rallied, bringing the score to 108-105 with NY just trailing, but they were unable to take the lead, bringing their season record to 18-22, while Milwaukee advanced to 16-24.
Playoffs are rapidly approaching, which both times likely had in mind. Going into the game the Bucks were three wins behind NY, and hoping to advance to the coveted eight and final spot in the Eastern Conference. This win pushes them a little bit closer to a shot at the playoffs.
Milwaukee's offense was led by Bradley Jennings, who scored 25 points, 10 assists and five rebound. Erasan Ilyasov scored 26 points (9 of thirteen shots) for the Bucks, after scoring 32 against Chicago on March 8.
The Knicks' beleaguered coach Mike D'Antoni rotated the lineup throughout the game in search of that magic combination, but never found success. Instead, he weakened the NY's defense, which the Bucks easily exploited.
Amare Stoudemire scored 27 points and 11 rebounds, and has been the Knick's most consistent player during their last four losses on the road. Jeremy Lin was in good form again, finally bringing his brash Linsanity back to the court, and scoring 20 points and 13 assists. Lin only turned the ball over 5 times, a marginal improvement for the young Harvard graduate. However, the Knicks collectively had 17 turnovers, spelling disaster. This is higher that their season average, which is currently the worst in the NBA.
Baron Davis played a solid game for the Knicks during his 30 minutes on the court, with nine points and nine assists. Melo played an uneven game, but managed 22 points in 17 shots.
The Knicks will return home to Madison Square Garden, looking worse for their four straight losses while traveling. Next they'll play the 76ers on Sunday, March 11, with the help of currently injured Chandler.