Bucks remain undefeated with 119-108 win over Knicks

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Bucks remained the only undefeated team in the NBA relying on their defense.

That’s how Giannis Antetokounmpo likes it.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists as the Bucks led nearly all the way in a 119-108 win over the New York Knicks on Friday night.

Milwaukee (4-0) won despite a record 38.5%.

“We have the personnel who can defend any night,” Antetokounmpo said. “At the end of the day, as long as we defend, we put ourselves in a position to win. It is our identity to move forward. We can not do without. »

Antetokounmpo scored eight points on an 18-0 run that gave the Bucks a 24-point lead in the third quarter. The Knicks cut the margin to nine in the final two minutes but couldn’t close.

“At the end, I thought we had more urgency and did a better job, but you have to play 48 minutes against these guys,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I don’t think we did that.”

Milwaukee beat Houston, Brooklyn and New York at Fiserv Forum after opening the season with a win at Philadelphia. The Bucks are halfway through a season-high six-game homestand.

Antetokounmpo scored 44 points against the Rockets and 43 against the Nets, giving him his career-high point total for a two-game streak. He was one of seven Bucks to score in double figures on Friday.

Brook Lopez had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks, while Bobby Portis had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Grayson Allen scored 17 points, Jrue Holiday 16, Jevon Carter 14 and George Hill 12.

“Everyone was scoring, everyone was moving and passing,” Allen said. “There were a bunch of possessions where the ball was swinging from side to side.”

RJ Barrett scored 20 points and Julius Randle had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who also had seven double-digit players. Immanuel Quickley had 14, Jalen Brunson 13, Derrick Rose 12 and Evan Fournier and Obi Toppin 11 each.

The Knicks’ only lead came in the final minute of the first quarter when Quickley’s 3-pointer gave New York a 24-22 advantage. The Bucks tied it on Antetokounmpo’s dunk and took the lead for good when Portis converted a first-quarter buzzer tip, one of his eight offensive rebounds.

“You’re playing Bobby, you have to be ready to be in a dogfight at all times,” Carter said. “He’s not going to take you lightly.”

TIPS

Knicks: Quentin Grimes remains out with left foot pain and has yet to play this season. … Thibodeau says he’s not concerned about Barrett’s slow start from 3 points. Barrett is 4 of 28 from 3-point range this season, including 1 of 7 on Friday. “We’ve been down that road before with him,” Thibodeau said before the game. “He usually starts slow. It will get there. … Brunson appeared to beat the halftime buzzer with a shot from over 50 feet, but the basket was overturned after replays showed time had expired just before the ball left his hands.

Bucks: Carter had eight points at halftime Friday. He had scored a total of seven points in the Bucks’ first three games. … The Bucks continue to play without Khris Middleton (wrist), Pat Connaughton (calf) and Joe Ingles (knee). … It was the first time Milwaukee wore his Classic “Light It Up” uniform, a version of the purple gear the Bucks used regularly during games in the 1990s and 2000s.

NEXT

Knicks: At Cleveland on Sunday. The Cavaliers swept all three meetings with the Knicks last season.

Bucks: hosts Atlanta on Saturday. It will be the first time this season that the Bucks have played back-to-back nights.

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