Bucks pound Knicks, reach NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals | Inquirer Sports

Bucks pound Knicks, reach NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals

/ 11:34 AM December 06, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo Bucks NBA

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 146-122. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points and 10 assists, Damian Lillard added 28 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the New York Knicks 146-122 on Tuesday night to reach the semifinals of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament.

The Bucks posted a season high in scoring, shooting 60.5% (23 of 38) from 3-point range and 60.4% overall to set up a matchup with Indiana in Las Vegas on Thursday.

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Milwaukee is 5-0 in tournament play and extended its home winning streak to nine games. The Bucks (15-6) have won 10 of 12 overall.

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Julius Randle scored a season-high 41 points for the Knicks, whose three-game winning streak was snapped. Jalen Brunson added 24 points and R.J. Barrett scored 23 for New York, which earned a wild-card berth in the knockout round through a point-differential tiebreaker.

Antetokounmpo had an injury scare less than two minutes into the game. After tipping in a missed shot, he landed on Randle’s foot and rolled his left ankle. Antetokounmpo fell to the floor in pain. He eventually limped up the court but stayed in the game and tallied 10 of the Bucks’ first 13 points.

After a tightly contested first half, the Bucks pulled ahead by as many as 18 points in the third quarter. Milwaukee led by as many as 27 in the fourth and coach Adrian Griffin emptied his bench, giving rare playing time to Antetokounmpo’s brother, Thanasis, and Robin Lopez, the twin brother of starting center Brook Lopez.

Lillard swished three step-back 3-pointers in the waning stages of the second quarter to give the Bucks at 75-72 lead at halftime. It was the highest-scoring first half this season for Milwaukee.

The Knicks had gone 10-3 since losing to the Bucks in Milwaukee on Nov. 3 in the opener of tournament group play.

UP NEXT

Knicks: At Boston on Friday.

Bucks: Will seek to avenge a 126-124 loss to the host Pacers in the teams’ only meeting this season.

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TAGS: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA

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