New York Knicks v Milwaukee Bucks
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks furious third-quarter comeback is all for naught as the Milwaukee Bucks make the winning plays in the fourth quarter.

  • New York Knicks 113 (1-3)
  • Milwaukee Bucks 124 (3-0)
  • NBA, East, Final, Box Score
  • Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI

The New York Knicks aren’t going to win many games this year, but they are going to be exciting and they’re going to leave it all on the floor. It sounds cliche, but it rings true with David Fizdale’s squad.

After falling behind by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, the Knicks could have packed it in and let Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks run away with the victory. But they battled back. Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, and Mario Hezonja led the way offensively. They combined for 61 points.

But the Knicks defense couldn’t contain the Bucks. Milwaukee is the more experienced and talented team. They made the winning plays late and the Knicks struggled to score down the stretch. This is the third-straight close game that the Knicks have let slip through their grasp. That’s not the end of the world. It will take time for them to learn how to win these games.

Giannis and Khris Middleton went for 31 and 30 respectively. Antetokounmpo was all over the boards, scooping up 15 rebounds — nine of which were on the offensive end. Middleton was 6-for-7 from three-point range which is emblematic of a larger problem for the Knickerbockers. They have trouble running shooters off the three-point line. Tonight was the first night where it really burned them.

The Knicks only converted on 10 of their 29 attempts from deep while the Bucks shot an excellent 17-for-40 from deep. That’s a 21-point difference. Of course, there were other factors that went into the 11-point loss for New York (see rebounding and getting to the free throw line), but the three-point disparity looms large.

Damyean Dotson was 4-for-8 from deep and he provided a much-needed offensive spark to the offense for the second straight game. He finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. He’s played well in two straight games and he looks deserving of significant time in the rotation.

Noah Vonleh scored 11 points and a couple thunderous dunks, but his impact was felt more on the defensive end. The Knicks had trouble stopping Antetokounmpo all night — who doesn’t? But Vonleh used his strength and length to slow him down at times. It’s impossible to stop him, but Vonleh did a commendable job defensively.

Is it even newsworthy when Enes Kanter gets a double-double? Kanter had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth consecutive double-double to start the season. He’s been a rock for Fizdale inside and he’s playing more crunch time minutes this year than he saw almost all of last year.

The Knicks couldn’t finish the comeback tonight, but they’re playing well enough to stay in games late. It’s tough to continually lose games in the final minutes, but it’s all a learning experience for this young squad.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.