NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 5th (All times eastern)
Milwaukee Bucks (21-26) at New York Knicks (19-29), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It's been nearly a month since the New York Knicks won back-to-back games. The team also hasn't garnered much success recently when facing the Milwaukee Bucks, who will invade Madison Square Garden tonight in the finale of a three-game road trip.
The Bucks have taken five of the past six matchups in this series, including a 102-87 victory in Milwaukee on November 7. The Knicks also lost both of their clashes with the Bucks at Madison Square Garden last season.
New York does enter this evening's showdown on a high note, however, after breaking a three-game losing streak with Wednesday's 107-85 triumph over visiting Washington. The Knicks used a big second-half run and strong performances off the bench from both Nate Robinson and Larry Hughes to end their slide.
Robinson scored a game-high 23 points and added eight assists and six rebounds, while Hughes contributed 11 points in nearly 18 minutes of action. The Knicks also received 22 points and 10 rebounds out of David Lee and shot a solid 52.3 percent from the field in addition to making 9-of-18 three-point attempts.
New York outscored the Wizards 31-20 in the third quarter to erase a four- point halftime deficit. Up 84-79 near the midway point of the fourth period, the Knicks then closed out the game with a 23-6 run.
"We picked it up," Hughes said. "We were pushing the ball up the court and putting pressure on the defense. For a stretch there they were making shots and we were making shots, but for the most part, we kept the energy and kept the pressure on. Once they started missing, we continued to make shots."
The Knicks hope to build off Wednesday's strong performance as they shoot for their first win streak since a three-game run from January 1-7.
Milwaukee had put together three straight wins before being handled by Southeast Division leader Orlando on Tuesday. The Bucks were coming off an impressive 97-81 at Miami in Monday's opener of this trek, in which they held the Heat to a poor 36.4 percent shooting as a team.
The Bucks were the ones shooting cold on Tuesday, however. The club made a measly 36.3 percent of its field goal attempts against the Magic, with leading scorer Brandon Jennings making just 1-of-7 shots for a season-low two points.
"[The Magic] basically outplayed us on every spot on the floor, except for the first few minutes of the game," said Bucks head coach Scott Skiles. "They played much better than us and deserved to win."
Charlie Bell and Luke Ridnour led Milwaukee with 13 points, while Andrew Bogut posted 10 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.
Tuesday's setback dropped the Bucks to 6-19 on the road this season.
02/05 10:39:17 ET