Wisconsin just loves New York right now. After the Packers dismantled the Giants yesterday in the NFL, the Bucks took care of their NBA counterpart in the Knicks, winning 132-88. This marks the first time in franchise history the Bucks have won back-to-back games by 40+ points.
From the jump, the Knicks looked dead. Milwaukee jumped to an early lead out the gate and never looked back. Even with the continued absence of starting center Brook Lopez and bench player Sterling Brown, the success of the team didn’t skip a beat. Khris Middleton returned to the starting lineup for the first time since he went down with his leg injury earlier this season and was only needed for a short time, as were most of the Bucks’ starters.
By half time, Milwaukee had a 27-point lead while shooting 59% from the field compared to New York’s 27%. That tells the story of the game. The second half was nearly the exact same except the players deeper on the bench got their fair share of minutes in the final two quarters. Even Dragan Bender and Thanasis Antetokounmpo had 10+ minutes.
The Knicks are in no way a good team, but Giannis still put up impressive numbers in 22 minutes. His stat line of 29/15/2 is fairly average for him at this point, but what was extraordinary was his three-point shooting. The Freak took four threes confidently and sunk three of them well behind the line. K-Midd added 16 points on 7-10 shooting and George Hill with 14 on 5-8. Hill is quietly the league’s second best deep shooter, sinking nearly 52% of his shots from behind the arc.
Every aspect of Milwaukee’s game plan clicked all night. The players were noticeably having more fun and taking the game a little less seriously by the second quarter than usual. Still, after Coach Bud saw something from Giannis that he didn’t like in the third quarter, he took a timeout to lay into Giannis over his decision. Fans have to feel pretty lucky that they have a coach that demands such excellence of the best player in the world in a blowout game.
The Bucks improved to a league best 18-3 record and remain on top of the Eastern Conference. The team will travel east over the lake for their next game with the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. Tip is set for 6:00 p.m. CT.