Knicks rally from 18 down, beat Bucks 116-111 to snap skid

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Two nights after losing to the Bucks on a last-second shot at home, the New York Knicks rallied late in the rematch and stunned Milwaukee.

Carmelo Anthony had 26 points and 10 assists, including a clutch 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, and the Knicks stormed back from 18 down Friday to beat the Bucks 116-111 and stop their six-game losing streak.

With less than a minute remaining, Anthony drained a 3-pointer that put New York in front by one.

“It felt good. I’m glad it went in,” he said. “You don’t make it if you don’t take it.”

On the ensuing possession, Lance Thomas stripped Giannis Antetokounmpo, leading to a fast-break dunk by Courtney Lee that helped the Knicks hold on.

New York rebounded from a tough loss Wednesday, when Antetokounmpo hit a step-back jumper at the horn that gave Milwaukee a 105-104 victory at Madison Square Garden.

“It is a great win for us tonight because the other night (we) thought we should have won,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said.

This time, they did. New York erased a 13-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter and ended its longest skid of the season.

Kristaps Porzingis returned from a three-game absence due to a sore left Achilles tendon and added 24 points for the Knicks.

“We needed it. We needed it more than anything,” he said.

Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker had 25 points apiece for Milwaukee. Greg Monroe chipped in with 19.

“After halftime, we relaxed and didn’t move the ball real well,” Antetokounmpo said. “We were taking tough shots and we weren’t playing our game. We had a chance to put them away, but we didn’t.”

The Knicks used a 12-0 run to cut the Bucks’ lead to one early in the fourth. Milwaukee’s Jason Terry was called for a flagrant foul during the stretch after he struck Ron Baker in the neck with his forearm.

After New York pulled within a point again later in the quarter, Tony Snell connected on back-to-back 3s for Milwaukee. Porzingis answered with a pair of 3-pointers.

After trailing by 12 at halftime, the Knicks opened the third quarter on a 15-4 run to cut the deficit to a single point. The Bucks immediately followed with a 9-0 spurt and led 96-83 heading to the fourth.

The Bucks used torrid long-range shooting to lead 65-53 at halftime. Milwaukee made its first eight shots from 3-point range before Michael Beasley misfired with about seven minutes left in the second quarter.

The Knicks jumped out to a 9-0 lead but the Bucks quickly erased the deficit and held a 33-32 advantage after one quarter.

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW

Hornacek brushed off a report from the NBA that stated there was a missed five-second call on Antetokounmpo’s game-winning shot Wednesday. “You’re not going to see it called,” Hornacek said. “They aren’t going to change the game, so you just move on.”

ROUGH GAME

New York center Joakim Noah picked up three personal fouls and was charged with a technical in the first half after he vehemently argued a call. Noah picked up two fouls in the third quarter and argued with referees as he left the court after being called for an offensive foul. He fouled out late in the game and egged on fans as they mocked him while he made his way to the bench.

TIP-INS

Knicks: Hornacek thought he’d be forced to limit Porzingis’ playing time as he returned from injury, but the forward/center logged 30 minutes before fouling out with 2:44 remaining. Porzingis said after the game that he had no soreness in the Achilles. “Maybe I should have worked harder,” he said.

Bucks: Matthew Dellavedova missed his fifth consecutive game with a strained right hamstring. “He’s doing better,” coach Jason Kidd said. “We’ll see at practice (on Saturday) how he does and hopefully he’s back soon.” … Antetokounmpo has at least 20 points in 14 consecutive games, matching the longest streak by a Bucks player since Michael Redd in 2006.

 

Devin Booker drops 70 points for Suns in loss to Celtics (VIDEO)

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.

His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.

Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)

James Harden helped recruit Lou Williams to Houston

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The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.

While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”

Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”

We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.

Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.