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(Wednesday, October 30th)
Final Score: New York 90, Milwaukee 83
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Knicks are hoping to get off to another blistering start.
Good thing the reigning Atlantic Division champs built a comfortable lead at the break.
Carmelo Anthony had 19 points and 10 rebounds and the Knicks escaped with a 90-83 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in the season opener for both teams.
After outscoring the Bucks 32-13 in the second quarter to take a 56-31 lead at halftime, New York squandered its margin over the final 24 minutes.
Milwaukee pulled within 10 after three and the Bucks began the fourth on an 11-2 run to pull within a point. John Henson split a pair of free throws with 3:13 left to give the visitors their first lead, but the Knicks closed the game on a 10-2 burst to secure the victory.
The Knicks blew out the Miami Heat in their opener a year ago en route to a 6-0 start. New York had at least a share of the division lead every day of the season before clinching it for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign.
Raymond Felton had 18 points, Iman Shumpert netted 16 and Tyson Chandler tallied 10 points and six rebounds for the Knicks, who shot 50.7 percent from the floor, but turned the ball over 22 times.
"Last year we led the league in not turning it over," Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said. "That's not us."
Former first overall pick Andrea Bargnani, who was acquired from the Toronto Raptors during the offseason for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson and a first-round pick, had six points.
Gary Neal poured in 16 points to lead Milwaukee, which went 38-44 a year ago before falling to the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
"My message to the guys at the halftime was I didn't care about whether we won or lost the game, I cared about us playing the way I know we're capable of playing," new Bucks head coach Larry Drew said.
The newly-acquired Brandon Knight, who is expected to take over the point guard duties vacated by Brandon Jennings, exited early with a hamstring injury.
Milwaukee gave the ball away 24 times.
After Henson split his pair, Pablo Prigioni forced a steal on Milwaukee's next touch, which led to a Chandler putback dunk following Anthony's miss in transition to give New York an 82-81 edge.
Anthony followed with back-to-back buckets -- his only points of the fourth -- to increase the margin to 86-81 with 1:14 left. O.J. Mayo then hit a tough stepback jumper for Milwaukee, but Chandler slammed home a lob from Felton, whose layup in transition seconds later concluded the scoring.
Earlier, the Knicks led 24-18 after a quarter of play before taking their healthy cushion at the break. Anthony, Shumpert -- playing in his first game since tearing his ACL last year -- and Felton all put in 12 points in the first half for the Knicks, who shot 56.4 percent from the field.
Milwaukee outscored New York 33-18 in the third.
New York held a 50-28 points in the paint advantage ... The Bucks opened on the road for a 29th straight year ... Knicks guard J.R. Smith and reigning Sixth Man of the Year served the first of a five-game suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug program.
10/31 01:17:21 ET
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