Giannis Antetokounmpo steals Knicks’ win with buzzer beater shot
The Knicks had the game right there. With under 10 seconds to go and up by 1, they had possession and were expecting to get fouled. But as Carmelo Anthony made the inbound pass, Giannis Antetokounmpo reached around and knocked the ball off Derrick Rose‘s foot on a play that would change the fate of the game.
With the Greek Freak getting the ball, Lance Thomas defended close but couldn’t stop his mid-range fade-away jumper that went straight in as the buzzer sounded the end of the game, to give Milwaukee a stunning 104-105 victory.
With Kristaps Porzingis missing his third straight game, Anthony scored a game-high 30 points. He grabbed 11 rebounds and dished 7 assists in his best game of the streak.
The Knicks showed a different face to the one they had used their fans with lately and outnumbered the Bucks in assists, 26-20. They also out-rebounded them, 46-42 and outscored them from behind the arc, (13-28 vs 9-28). But they couldn’t perform better in the paint and at the free throw line. In fact, the Knicks shot a low 58% and were awarded with only 12 free throws while the Bucks had no more than 31 tries.
Coach Jeff Hornacek anticipated before the game that the key factor for winning it would be the defense.
“Really, the focus tonight, I think is going to be how our guys play defense.”
The Knicks built a 16 point lead late in the third quarter and it seemed like they had found themselves. They moved the ball well, they defended, they drawn turnovers and they scored. But things started to fall piece by piece in the fourth, as Antetokounmpo scored 12 of his total 27 points in the final act with New York missing a plethora of shots.
Joakim Noah, who finished with 8 points and 16 rebounds, was unable to explain what happened.
“I think right now we’re at a point in the season, we lost six in a row, and we have to look ourselves in the mirror, and see what we can do better.” [Source]
Derrick Rose finished with 15 buckets while Mindaugas Kuzminskas led the bench with the same amount of points, shooting 6-10 in 19 minutes on the floor.
The Knicks dropped to 16-19 after losing the 6th straight, and will try to win for the first time in 2017 tomorrow night when they travel to Milwaukee for a rematch.