The New York Knicks blew a 25 point lead in what looked like an easy victory on Wednesday night. After a dominating first half where the Knicks took a commanding 56-35 lead, New York seemed to be more concerned about getting rest in the second half. However, the Milwaukee Bucks had different ideas.
After giving up the 25 point lead and then some, New York had to finish the game on 10-3 run to win 90-83. Tyson Chandler became the most active player on the court in final moments. Chandler was the ultimate rim protector, and he finished with five blocks and three steals. It was the type of performance the Knicks need if they have any thoughts of a postseason run.
The Bucks were down their top two point guards after Brandon Knight pulled his hamstring two minutes into the game. Unfortunately for Knight, the hamstring was already sore, and when he tried to explode into the front court, his night was done.
The Knicks took advantage of the youthful Nate Wolters and the stagnant Bucks with swarming defense. The Bucks committed 23 turnovers, but they weren’t the only team that couldn’t control the ball.
If New York only had a cold shooting second half, the game would have still been easier. However, the uncharacteristic turnovers plagued New York in the second half. They finished the game with 22 and they had nine in the fourth quarter.
While the Knicks were still holding on to a double digit lead, a hard foul on Carmelo Anthony seemed to change the course of the game. Zaza Pachulia came down with two arms on Anthony, and Pachulia fell to the ground. Instead of a flagrant call, they whistled Anthony for a technical. The NBA office needs to take a look at that play ASAP and rescind the technical. If not, Knicks’ fans should know just where Carmelo stands with the league.
That sequence helped fuel a 33-18 run in the third quarter. It took the New York Knicks another 10 minutes to find their game again. That’s precisely when Chandler put his stamp on the game.
Chandler’s follow dunk gave the Knicks the lead for good. The next possession New York hit the offensive glass hard again. After Raymond Felton kept the ball alive, Carmelo tipped the ball in, and then used a post up play to give the Knicks a five point lead with 1:14 left.
The Knicks had four people in double figures. Carmelo led with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Raymond Felton added 18 points and Iman Shumpert scored 16. Tyson Chandler finished with 10.
Raymond Felton left the game briefly with a hamstring scare.
Without J.R. Smith in the lineup, the Knicks’ bench scored 20 points.
The Knicks play Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.
For more sports news, check out Top 10+1 Sports Blog and Twitter.