NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Bledsoe had 22 points and 10 assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks moved into a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a 115-102 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
Khris Middleton also scored 22 points for the Bucks, who joined Miami with a 43-37 record. The Heat were blown out by the Knicks at Madison Square Garden a night earlier but the Bucks avoided the same fate despite playing without All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo because of a sore right ankle.
Jabari Parker made his second start of the season in Antetokounmpo’s place and finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. John Henson had 15 points and 12 boards for the Bucks, who hoped to get point guard Malcolm Brogdon back but will have to wait a little longer.
Jarrett Jack scored 18 points and Kyle O’Quinn had 15 points, 16 rebounds and five assists for the Knicks, who beat Miami 122-98 on Friday but fell short in their hopes of beating another playoff-bound team.
The game was close most of the way until the Bucks, trailing by one, took control with a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter. Middleton’s basket gave Milwaukee the lead for good, Tony Snell and Parker made 3-pointers, and Bledsoe made four free throws as the Bucks surged to a 106-95 advantage with 2:17 to play.
Snell left a little more than five minutes into the game when he turned an ankle when he stepped on a teammate’s foot while chasing a Knicks player around a screen. He returned in the second quarter and had 10 points.
The Knicks were without Tim Hardaway Jr. (sprained left ankle), Enes Kanter (lower back, right wrist) and Emmanuel Mudiay (concussion). Michael Beasley started after leaving Friday’s game with a bruised left knee.
O’Quinn became the first Knick since Patrick Ewing in 1999 to record at least 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in three straight games.
Bucks: Coach Joe Prunty said Brogdon (left quad) was evaluated Saturday and it was determined he wasn’t ready to go. The Bucks hope last season’s Rookie of the Year can play Monday. … Parker had averaged 20 points in his last three games.
Knicks: Coach Jeff Hornacek said he expected that Kanter and Hardaway would play again this season if healthy, refusing to rule them out for the final two games. “Those guys are all competitors and that’s what we like about them,” Hornacek said. … Knicks starters had no turnovers in the first half and the team had just two total, both by Luke Kornet.
The Knicks held Latvian heritage night in celebration of Latvia’s 100th anniversary. The New York Latvian Concert Choir sang the national anthem and Latvia President Raimond Vejonis was presented with a personalized jersey by Knicks All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, who is from Latvia.
Bucks: Host Orlando on Monday.
Knicks: Host Cleveland on Monday.