LOS ANGELES — The Milwaukee Bucks turned the tables on the New York Knicks on Wednesday, squandering a 24-point lead before emerging with a 112-100 NBA victory at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks had rallied from a 21-point first-half deficit to stun the reigning champion Bucks in Milwaukee on Friday, but they couldn’t work the same magic on their home floor.
Pat Connaughton’s season-high 23 points for Milwaukee included three three-pointers in the final four minutes — part of a long-range barrage the Bucks used to hold on.
Grayson Allen added two three-pointers in the waning minutes for Milwaukee, who finished with 26 three-pointers on 50 attempts.
The Bucks appeared to have the game in hand when Giannis Antetokounmpo came up with a steal and a dunk for a 24-point lead midway through the third quarter.
But New York’s reserves — who took over in the third quarter as Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau benched his ineffective starters — responded.
Derrick Rose scored 22 points off the bench for New York, and Immanuel Quickley added 18. Quickley’s three-pointer knotted the score at 89-89 with 5:06 left to play.
The Bucks, playing the second night of a back-to-back and still without Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, quickly edged back in front with three-pointers from George Hill and Jrue Holiday, and Connaughton’s long-range efforts pushed the lead back to 10 points with 2:05 to go.
Brooklyn stays ‘focused’
Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant poured in 30 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 and James Harden produced a triple-double of 17 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Brooklyn Nets bounced back from a blowout loss to the Bulls with a 123-90 victory over the Magic in Orlando.
Two days after a fourth-quarter collapse in Chicago saw their five-game win streak end, the Nets put together a 17-1 scoring run bridging the third and fourth quarters to seize a late 102-75 lead.
With the Magic unable to score for a span of more than five minutes, Brooklyn pushed their lead to more than 30 points.
The Nets reserves contributed 59 points, including Aldridge’s 21 off the bench, 11 from DeAndre’ Bembry and 10 from Jevon Carter.
“It was good,” Aldridge said. “Trying to recover after the last game — we had the lead late and we just didn’t finish that one well. Tonight, I thought guys stayed more focused.”