Grimes sets rookie record in home loss to Bucks

Quentin Grimes scored a game high 27 points but the Knicks lost 112-97 to the Milwaukee Bucks, in a matinee game at the Garden.

The Knicks never led throughout the entire game and had difficulties in making baskets early in the game, scoring their first points four minutes into the first quarter. They trailed by 26-16 at the end of the first act and 61-48 at halftime after cutting down a 21 point deficit.

Grimes set a new franchise record in points scored by rookies in their first start, surpassing Toney Douglas who held the previous record with 23 points, 12 seasons ago.

The rookie, who played the first 16 minutes of the game, already had 13 points at halftime including 3 three pointers. In the second half, Grimes was once again red hot from long distance making 4 shots in the early minutes of the third quarter that cut an 18 point lead to single digits.

The effort however was not enough. The Knicks never trailed by less than 9 points in the second half while in the fourth quarter they never trailed by less than 13 points.

“They’re the defending champs so they’re tough They got off to a good start, new starting lineup, we adjusted quickly. And then I thought the fight was better in the second half . . . But if you have two or three bad minutes against them, they’re going to make you pay.”

Tom Thibodeau

The Bucks were led by Khris Middleton who shot 10-18 and scored 24 points. Giannis Antentokounmpo finished in double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds while former Knick, Bobby Portis, dropped 19 points.

Tom Thibodeau came up with a new lineup, shorthanded by two of his regular starters: Alec Burks was out with personal reasons and RJ Barrett with Covid-19 safety protocols. So he went with Derrick Rose as the starting point guard and Grimes as the shooting guard while Kemba Walker continued to be a spectator. Another key player missing was Obi Toppin because of the same safe and healthy protocols.

Rose scored 18 points and dished out 7 assists shooting 8-16 from the field. He made a couple of three pointers including the one that cut the lead 78-65 four minutes into the third quarter.

Kevin Knox also got some love from Thibs, playing almost 30 minutes, more than he played the entire season. Knox scored 18 points off the bench, shot 6-15 from the field, most of them from behind the arc making 5 threes.

Julius Randle and Evan Fournier both struggled. None of them finished in double digits as Randle went 2-9 from the field and Fournier 2-8.

The Knicks have lost three consecutive games, dropped three games bellow .500 and are 3-7 in the last 10 games.

Up-next: The Knicks (12-15) will host the Warriors (21-5) on Tuesday from 7:30 pm.

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