The New York Knicks pulled out an impressive 102-88 win on the road in Milwaukee, improving their record to 10-4. It was a back and forth game in the first half but the Knicks pulled away with big second and third quarters, scoring over 30 in each and a combined 65 points. Carmelo Anthony once again showed why he was one of the league’s best scorers going off for 29 points while watching the entire fourth quarter from the bench.
It had the feeling early that the Bucks could catch the Knicks on an off night.
Going against one of the best pure scoring backcourts in basketball, Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings controlled the tempo early. Jennings has been a Knicks killer in his career, averaging over 20 points per game against New York, his highest against any Eastern Conference opponent. However the Knicks settled in, got into a groove and both ends of the floor, and ran away with the game.
Ellis and Jennings had 15 points each in the first half but only scored a combined five points in the second. Anthony of course deserves all the credit but tonight the role players stepped up.
Without Jason Kidd, out for a second straight game with back spasms, 35 year-old rookie Pablo Prigioni slipped right into Kidd’s role. Prigioni scored an efficient 11 points, going 4-5 form the field, and added seven assists. Steve Novak had another huge game off the bench playing in his hometown and in front of his family with 19 points going 5-for-7 from three, playing a career high 40 minutes.
The Knicks need wins like these to be taken as a serious contender. They have to bulk up their wins and beat up on the teams they are supposed to beat up on. Milwaukee has been playing pretty good basketball, but they aren’t on New York’s level.
Mike Woodson played the hot players tonight and it paid off, but it was pretty interesting to not see Marcus Camby in a game that the Knicks had a double-digit lead in the entire second half. Woodson will have to make some interesting moves when Iman Shumpert and Amar’e Stoudemire come back. Who will see their minutes cut down? Knicks’ fans don’t have to worry about that right now but I’m sure it’s in the back of everybody’s mind.
Great win for the Knicks on the road.