What a comeback! After by 21, the Knicks go up by 22 in victory over the Bucks

MILWAUKEE – Maybe in a few months from now, this game means nothing, a distant memory of a strange night. Or maybe it will be an evening that the Knicks can point to as a moment when their season changed.

After two losses in a row and against defending champion Milwaukee Bucks away, the Knicks were down 21 points early in the second quarter and the Fiserv Forum was already in a festive mood. Then something happened. The game turned around, the Knicks came back and maybe the season turned around too.

After battling back with the kind of effort they hadn’t shown consistently since opening night, the Knicks chased the Bucks, caught them and just kept stacking it on, turning the 21-point deficit into a 22-point lead on the way to a 113-98 victory.

When the Knicks (6-3) finally cleared the bench with just over two minutes left, they led and Julius Randle had scored 32 points and snatched 12 rebounds. RJ Barrett added 20 points and reached this mark for the fifth game in a row. And Derrick Rose spurred much of the comeback as he came off the bench for 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and Grayson Allen added 22 to the Bucks (4-5), who were held to 60 points in the final three quarters.

Before the game began, Tom Thibodeau spoke of Wednesday’s loss in Indiana as the Knicks fell behind 11-0, surrendering 36 points in the first quarter and starting a futile game to overcome an early 15-point deficit.

“The big thing they did threes to start the game,” he said. “We had some wide-openers that we missed to get in a hole. But then I thought we were fighting really hard and I thought we did a lot of good things in that fight. We did not close the third quarter of the road. we should have. We should have had the lead into the fourth. So it’s a long game. You have to play hard for 48 minutes. Indiana is playing really good basketball right now. They are a tough team at home. But it is away, and our focus should be on Milwaukee. “

If the focus was on Milwaukee and avoiding that kind of start, it fell on deaf ears. The Knicks surrendered eight three-point field goals in the first quarter, giving up 38 points in the period and trailing 40-19 in the opening minute of the second quarter.

The Bucks were strengthened by the return of Jrue Holiday, who had missed the last five games but was still without two starters, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez. It didn’t seem to matter any early on as Allen led them by 14 points in the first quarter.

The Knicks mimicked the comeback they had made in Indiana, and this time managed to come all the way back. By the break, they had closed the gap to 63-56 after 16 points and eight rebounds to Randle and a lift from the bench from Rose.

The Knicks kept coming in the third quarter and finally got equalized at 80-80 after a theft and an outburst by Immanuel Quickley with 2:14 left of the period. Rose and Quickley added three-pointers, and the Knicks celebrated as they entered the fourth quarter with a 88-83 lead.

It may not be a coincidence that the slow starts have come from the starting lineup, which is still getting used to new faces, with Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier joining the team and Mitchell Robinson in place after missing much of last season with injuries. Walker took some of the responsibility.

“I just think we need to get better,” he said at the morning shooting round. “It really is. Defense is about pride and wanting to do it. I just think we had some nights where it just has not been there, together, has not been locked in, has not been in our seats. We know what we need to do, we just need to be better, simpler and simpler.

“I think you have to be ready individually first to get your team started. Like I said, I have to make sure everything goes. I have to be ready to start the game better. The start of the game is important.The start of the game determines the rest of our game for our teammates, for guys coming from the bench.The guys see how we play so they can come in and eat of our energy.So yes, a lot goes into it. We just have to be better at that aspect. “

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