Two days after Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee to a road win over New York at Madison Square Garden, he fell two assists shy of recording a triple-double in the Bucks’ 112-96 victory over the visiting Knicks on Thursday night.
The “Greek Freak” scored 31 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, dished out eight assists and blocked four shots in Milwaukee. On Tuesday in the Bucks’ 109-95 win, Antetokounmpo had 30 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and four steals.
Khris Middleton carried the early load as Antetokounmpo struggled from the floor. Middleton finished with 25 points, including nine in the third quarter when Milwaukee opened up a 12-point lead.
Things got testy early in the fourth when Enes Kanter knocked Antetokounmpo to the floor with a forearm to the head at the 9:56 mark. The two players went face-to-face with Kanter being the aggressor while play continued on the other end.
Play stopped, and Kanter was given a double technical and ejected. Antetokounmpo also was assessed a technical but stayed in the game.
Malcolm Brogdon made the technical free throw, and the Bucks led by 10. Antetokounmpo followed with two more free throws, and Milwaukee was up 94-82.
Milwaukee received a huge lift off the bench from D.J. Wilson, who in 20 minutes of play scored 10 points and grabbed 14 boards.
Luke Kornet connected on 7 of 11 3-point attempts and led the Knicks with 23 points. Noah Vonleh recorded a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Knicks forward Kevin Knox came into the game with a run of eight consecutive games in which he scored at least 15 points, the longest streak this season by a rookie. He was held to 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting.
New York started off strong and held a 28-24 lead after one period. The Knicks held Milwaukee to just 37.9 percent shooting from the field in the opening 12 minutes, and the Bucks missed all six of their shots from the 3-point range. The Knicks made 4 of 8 from beyond the arc.
Brook Lopez finally hit a deep 3-pointer from the top of the key to end the Bucks’ drought from long distance.
Milwaukee took control thanks to a 22-4 run in the second quarter, turning a 35-26 deficit into a 48-39 lead.