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Reply To: NBA • Saturday Service Plays • 12/5/15

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Preview: New York At Milwaukee

When: 8:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 5, 2015

Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The New York Knicks set the tone for their vast improvement this season with an impressive performance on opening night at Milwaukee. The Knicks return to the Brew City on Saturday looking for a repeat performance of that season debut, as well as a third straight win overall.

Coming off an embarrassing 17-win season, a revamped New York squad began its bid for a turnaround with a 122-97 victory over the Bucks on Oct. 28. Although Milwaukee got a measure of revenge with a win at Madison Square Garden just over a week later, the Knicks enter this third of four meetings on another high after a 108-91 rout of Brooklyn on Friday. Rookie Kristaps Porzingis needed only 26 minutes to record his 10th double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) while making three of his team’s 12 3-pointers. The Bucks, meanwhile, are just 4-10 since the victory in New York after falling 102-95 in Detroit on Friday.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

ABOUT THE KNICKS (10-10): Carmelo Anthony sandwiched some rough outings around a missed game against Houston earlier in the week, but looked like himself again versus the Nets with 28 points and seven rebounds. He will be seeking a similar performance against the Bucks, who have limited the superstar to an average of 14 points on 31.2 percent shooting in the previous two encounters. It’s a good time for New York to get everyone in a groove, as the schedule has opened up a big opportunity for the Anthony’s crew to make some hay; they are 2-1 thus far on a stretch in which they play nine of 10 games against opponents who are currently below .500.

ABOUT THE BUCKS (7-13): Milwaukee scored 16 first-quarter points against Detroit and trailed by 11 points at halftime, which came after it dug a 10-point halftime hole in its previous loss at San Antonio. Early deficits are an issue when a team can’t come back from the perimeter and the Bucks are just 28.2 percent from beyond the arc over the course of a five-game span (1-4). Khris Middleton, who had 21 points against the Pistons, has pulled his weight in that category with a career-high 46.7 percent mark, which bumps up to 53.5 percent at home.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. New York has made 52-of-60 free throws in a three-game stretch.

2. Bucks C John Henson had a season-high 22 points and three blocked shots in the 99-92 win at New York last month.

3. Knicks SG Arron Afflalo is averaging 20.7 points over his last three games.

PREDICTION: Bucks 95, Knicks 94