Fri. Final: Bucks 104, Knicks 87
By By Kyle Dlabay
Next game: Saturday, November 22 at Charlotte
In an almost must win for the Bucks, Milwaukee snapped their three-game winning streak with a victory over the undermanned New York Knicks.
Only seven players saw action for New York due to injuries and trades. Milwaukee needed a win before they headed out on the road for a four-game trip. Milwaukee beat the Knicks 104-87 at the Bradley Center Friday night.
"You got to win the games that you're supposed to win," said Bucks center Andrew Bogut. "Every now and then, steal one that you're not supposed to win and you'll be in good shape."
In his first game back from a hamstring injury, Charlie Villanueva led the Bucks with 20 points off the bench in just 13 minutes. Villanueva missed the team's last four games.
The player that replaced Villanueva in the starting lineup earlier this season, Luc Mbah a Moute, scored eight points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Mbah a Moute had ten of those rebounds in the first quarter.
Bogut had a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds. It was his sixth double-double of the season and his second straight. Reserve point guard Ramon Sessions also had a double-double with 14 points and ten assists. Sessions also scored in double figures in all 12 games he has played this season.
Milwaukee asserted control of the game late in the third quarter with a 21-4 run that extended into the fourth quarter. Villanueva knocked down a deep two-pointer with 8:24 left in the final quarter to put the Bucks up 86-62 over New York.
"We knew they were undermanned," Bogut said. "We knew they would come out fighting. We got caught up in their game a little bit. I think in the first half, baskets were coming very easily. It was one of the games where you can get stats up and do those things. We're aware of that. We tried to knuckle down defensively. All it takes against a team like that is four or five stops. You get the lead out to double digits and we did that tonight."
Before the game, the Knicks acquired forward Al Harrington from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Jamal Crawford. Also, New York traded power forward Zach Randolph and point guard Mardy Collins to the Los Angeles Clippers for guard Cuttino Mobley and former Buck Tim Thomas. With trades like these, the Knicks are setting up to make a run at Lebron James when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2010.
"Cuttino and Tim are two veteran players that will help us work towards our joint goal of remaining competitive this season while also improving our long-term cap flexibility," said Knicks GM Donnie Walsh in a release about the trade with the Clippers.
The Knicks only suited up eight players for the game however only seven saw the floor. Point guard Stephon Marbury did not see any action and has yet to play this season.
Starting point guard Chris Duhon led the Knicks with 20 points while Nate Robinson had 19. Robinson also had ten rebounds for a double-double. David Lee also had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. New York shot just 34 percent from the field.
It's back to the road for the Bucks as they start a four-game trip away from Milwaukee Saturday night against the Bobcats in Charlotte.
Notes: Bucks shooting guard Michael Redd missed his tenth straight game with a right ankle sprain. The Knicks were 7-30 from three-point range for the game. "They took 36 threes when we played them in New York," Skiles said. "Our three-point defense, statistically, is pretty good but I also felt like they missed some."