Knicks avoid Christmas day sweep by the Bucks, win 129-122
In a thrilling Christmas Day matchup, the New York Knicks delivered a standout performance, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 129-122 and snapping a discouraging nine-game losing streak to the 2021 champions.
Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with a 38-point performance, proving instrumental in securing the crucial win. Julius Randle contributed 24 points and 9 rebounds, while RJ Barrett bounced back from a weaker performance in the previous game, putting up 21 points. Immanuel Quickley provided a significant spark off the bench with 20 points.
Barrett and Brunson were the dynamic duo for the Knicks, combining for the team’s first 24 points. Barrett’s impressive 14-point first quarter set the tone for the game, and although his scoring slowed after halftime, his early effort played a crucial role in establishing the Knicks’ lead.
“We played with extra energy, extra effort, obviously we made a lot more shots than we did last game. Just the energy and fight. We lost to them three times already, so to come in today on Christmas to get this one feels extra sweet.”
– RJ Barrett
The Knicks never trailed after ending the first quarter with a 9-point advantage. With just five minutes left to play, they secured their largest lead at 119-113. Although the Bucks mounted a comeback, closing the gap to six points with 1:31 remaining, Brunson’s clutch play, including a decisive floater, sealed the victory for the Knicks.
Josh Hart showcased his two-way prowess with 10 points and impactful plays on both ends of the floor. Isaiah Hartenstein contributed 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists, providing valuable support to the Knicks’ winning efforts.
This win not only marked the end of the Knicks’ recent struggles against the Bucks but also halted the Bucks’ impressive seven-game winning streak. The last time the Knicks defeated the Bucks was on November 5, 2021.
The Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo with 32 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists, along with Damian Lillard’s 32 points and 8 assists, couldn’t overcome the Knicks’ determined performance. Khris Middleton added 24 points for the Bucks.
The Knicks dominated the paint, outscoring the Bucks 72-50, and displayed remarkable shooting efficiency with a 54.3% field goal percentage compared to the Bucks’ 47.4%.
This Christmas Day victory serves as a significant morale booster for the Knicks, and it will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most important wins of the season.