Bucks faces the longest losing Run of the year Against the Knicks

The New York Knicks defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 122-109 on Sunday thanks to a strong second half led by Jalen Brunson, who scored 43 points. It was the Knicks’ fourth straight loss.

The Bucks have lost six of their last seven games and are experiencing their biggest losing run of the year. In the competition for the second playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, behind the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee is leading the Knicks and Orlando Magic by one game.

This was a defeat, but at least it came against a winning squad. The Bucks’ current losing streak began with defeats to the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, and Memphis Grizzlies—all three teams with records far below.500.

In his first game back, Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee finished with 28 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 assists. On Friday, he missed the Bucks’ 117-111 loss to the Raptors because of a left hamstring strain. The Bucks’ top three players—Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and Khris Middleton—were all available for just the fourth time in the previous 29 games.

However, some of them would lose the game before the end. Halfway through the second quarter, Middleton took a punch to the face and was out for the remainder of the game.

Donte DiVincenzo of New York accidentally struck Middleton in the face, causing him to fall to the ground. Isaiah Hartenstein, the center for the Knicks, took a shot as Middleton was on his stomach, tripping and landing on the Bucks forward’s back.

With blood streaming from his mouth, the three-time All-Star made his way to the locker room.

The Knicks and Brunson came together without Middleton on the court. In his five games versus the Bucks this season, Brunson has averaged 37.2 points. On Sunday, he also recorded eight assists and six rebounds.

In addition to Hartenstein’s 18 points and 10 rebounds, DiVincenzo scored 26 points. Seven points, nine rebounds, and nine assists were scored by Josh Hart.

For the Bucks, Lillard finished with 23 points and Bobby Portis with 24.

The Knicks overcame a halftime deficit of 61-50 to take a commanding lead in the third quarter, outscoring the Bucks 20-6 in the first six minutes.

With 6:58 remaining in the third quarter, DiVincenzo made two free throws to give the Knicks their first lead since they held a 6-5 lead less than four minutes earlier. To finish a 14-1 run, Hartenstein dunk after OG Anunoby’s steal.

In the last second of the third quarter, Pat Connaughton drove to the hoop but Mitchell Robinson blocked his shot, putting the Bucks behind 87-85. With a second remaining in the first, Brunson made a basket to ignite a 15-4 run that increased the Knicks’ advantage to 13.

With 6:28 remaining, Portis’ 3-pointer gave Milwaukee a 104-98 lead. However, the Bucks failed to score for the next two and a half minutes, allowing the Knicks to regain a double-digit advantage.

The margin never fell below eight.