|New York vs Milwaukee|
|92 - 112|
Thanks to Dan Gadzuric, Toni Kukoc and the rest of Milwaukee's reserves, the Bucks had nothing to worry about.
Gadzuric scored a season-high 18 points, and the Bucks beat the New York Knicks 112-92 Monday night for their third straight victory.
Michael Redd finished with 31 points to lead Milwaukee, which has won six of seven and improved to 10-1 against Eastern Conference teams. Maurice Williams added 15.
But it was the bench players who were the difference in a game that was tied after one quarter. Kukoc added 10 points, helping Milwaukee's reserves outscore New York's 42-20. The Bucks were without guard Bobby Simmons, who is fourth on the team with 12.3 points a game. He hurt his shoulder in a win over Cleveland on Saturday.
"That's been our backbone somewhat," Redd said of the play by the team's reserves. "Starting five's not going to be able to do it throughout the season. We realize the key is to have a solid bench."
Rookie Channing Frye scored a career-high 30 points for the Knicks, who dropped their third straight. Nate Robinson and Eddy Curry each had 15.
"I haven't had to coach effort with this team. Tonight, I felt I did and that's no fun," Knicks coach Larry Brown said. "It's my responsibility to get us to do better."
Frye dominated his matchup with fellow lottery pick Andrew Bogut -- but that may have backfired for the Knicks because it meant more playing time for Gadzuric. He scored 12 points during the decisive second quarter, then came back off the bench late in the third period to make three field goals after New York had pulled within single digits.
Gadzuric entered averaging five points in just over 12 minutes per game. He fell shy of his career high of 22 points, set last April against Boston.
"Dan's been on a nice little roll," Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. "He's gaining confidence and players are gaining confidence (in him), obviously. When he's open under the basket they find him."
Quentin Richardson rejoined the Knicks, a week after leaving the team following the shooting death of his brother in Chicago. He started and scored five points.
Milwaukee was ahead by one before Gadzuric and another reserve, Charlie Bell, combined for 11 points in a 16-2 run that extended the Bucks' lead to 53-38 on Redd's 3-pointer with 4:14 left in the half. Bell was hurt during the spurt when teammate Jiri Welsch crashed into him while trying to make a steal, and he was helped to the locker room with a sprained right knee.
"They went to the bench and we went to the bench and that was a difference," Brown said.
Milwaukee shot 67 percent in the quarter to build a 61-49 halftime lead. The Knicks were within eight points with a little more than a minute left in the third, but Gadzuric had a dunk and a layup off an alley-oop to put the Bucks ahead 87-75 entering the final period.
Despite playing without Simmons, the Bucks shot 54 percent and were 12-of-19 (63 percent) from 3-point range, with Redd going 5-for-5.
"I can't really tell you what happened tonight," Frye said. "Basically they played a great game and hit open shots."
The Bucks didn't even need a big game from Bogut, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft who finished with just four points and five rebounds. He played only 24 minutes, while Frye shot 14-of-18 in 41 minutes.
"Sometimes guys are going to play not the way they want to play, and that happens," Gadzuric said. "I have off nights, everybody has off nights. It's up to the teammates to pick each other up and that's what a team is for." ^Notes:@ Richardson's first basket was a driving dunk late in the first quarter. He was called for a technical foul for pulling on the rim. ... Qyntel Woods made his Knicks' debut and scored five points.