Preview: Milwaukee At New York
When: 7:30 PM ET, Sunday, January 10, 2016
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
The New York Knicks nearly pulled off the impossible on Friday, but Jose Calderon’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark. The Knicks will try to carry the momentum from a tight loss on the road back home when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.
The Knicks nearly became the first team to win in San Antonio since last season in a 100-99 loss that may have marked their best performance of the new year despite coming on the heels of a three-game winning streak. Carmelo Anthony and rookie Kristaps Porzingis showed again what kind of a dynamic force they can be together with a pair of double-doubles in the loss. Anthony and Porzingis will take on another team with plenty of length up front in the Bucks, who turned in a rare solid defensive performance in a win over Dallas on Friday. Milwaukee had allowed an average of 120 points in back-to-back losses before holding off the Mavericks in a 96-95 victory.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE BUCKS (15-23): Milwaukee is in the bottom third of the lead in 3-point defense, allowing opponents to go off at 36.4 percent from beyond the arc, but was proud of its effort in holding Dallas to 14-of-44 from 3-point range on Friday. “There are a lot of threes being taken in the NBA right now and you’re going to have to defend that,” Bucks interim coach Joe Prunty told reporters. “You’re going to have to contest those shots; your assignments are going to have to be on point. … Our team defense was very, very good.” Point guard Michael Carter-Williams led that defensive effort with five steals and continued his strong run of late with 15 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (18-20): Porzingis is battling through some inconsistency in his first year in the league but showed off his full arsenal of skills on Friday with 28 points, including three 3-pointers, and 11 rebounds. The 20-year-old Latvian posted a double-double in two of the last three games and is looking for a better performance on Sunday after managing 12 points, seven rebounds, five turnovers and five fouls in a 106-91 loss at Milwaukee on Dec. 5. The Knicks picked up a 122-97 win at Milwaukee on opening night but have lost the last two meetings, including a 99-92 home setback on Nov. 6.
1. Bucks G Jerryd Bayless (ankle) sat out the last two games and is day-to-day.
2. Knicks C Robin Lopez is averaging 14 points in the last four games.
3. Milwaukee has taken six of the last seven in the series, including the last three at New York.
PREDICTION: Knicks 106, Bucks 99