Emmanuel Mudiay's clutch trey help the Knicks outlast Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in a 136-134 victory on Saturday night.
The New York Knicks started Emmanuel Mudiay at point guard, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Mario Hezonja as the wings, and Noah Vonleh and Enes Kanter as their fronty court while the Bucks used their usual starting lineup. Noah Vonleh starts the first quarter with a highlight putting a dunk over Brook Lopez as the first basket of the game. Both teams started well shooting from the outside and scoring inside until one highlight play wows the crowd and fire them up when Mario Hezonja dunked on Giannis Antetokounmpo and stepping over him after the nasty dunk.
The game continues to be close after that play and New York get a little bit of momentum and lead by 7 points but the Bucks immediately answered back as Giannis ties the game at 17 with a nasty transition dunk of his own. Both teams are hot in the three point territory and no one wants to slow down. Tim Hardaway Jr. is hitting his shots as he always do as well as Kris Middleton for the Bucks. Milwaukee ends the first period with a 7 point game, 35-28.
In the Second quarter, the Bucks started to heat up as they drained 2 consecutive three-pointers to increase the lead to double digits. Dotson answered back for the Knicks with his own 2 consecutive triples but still the lead is in double digits because of Kris Middleton's continuous scoring. New York's rookie Kevin Knox started to make his presence feel in the game with some baskets to cut the lead to a single digit deficit. Emmanuel Mudiay also started to feel it in the second period as he gave the Knicks some important buckets in the paint to keep the game close. The length of Mudiay helps him dominate the smaller Eric Bledsoe as he continues to go one on one against Bledsoe and it him up when he is close to the basket.
The Bucks still went with their three-point shooting in the third period with Giannis Antetokounmpo working underneath the basket to provide them inside scoring and rebounding. Kevin Knox was feeling it in the third draining consecutive outside shots as part of his career high 26 points. Still the Bucks continue shooting threes which makes the game a lot harder for the Knicks to keep it close.
In the fourth and final quarter, the Knicks comes alive with the help of another rookie Mitchell Robinson who scored much needed buckets that gives them some momentum to keep the game close again. With six and a half minutes remaining in the clock and the Bucks leading by 14 points, the Knicks made a run started with Kevin Knox knocking down 2 consecutive triples. With three minutes left in the fourth the Bucks looks very comfortable with their nine point lead and maybe thinking that they already got the game but the Knicks didn't give up. They made a run again and with under a minute to go, they cut the deficit down to three and ties it with Emmanuel Mudiay's dagger three with 24 seconds left in the game. Giannis has one more chance to win the game but his fade away jumper went off and the game went to over time.
Emmanuel Mudiay took over in OT and drills another triple to start the period. Eric Bledsoe hits a three of his own to answer back. Then, Tim Hardaway Jr. gets a tough turnaround one-hander to take the lead but Giannis on the other side made another layup. With one minute left, Damyean Dotson hits a crucial three-pointer to take the lead in over time. The Bucks had their chances and in the final 9 seconds of the game, Eric Bledsoe drives to the basket but rookie Mitchell Robinson had a great defensive stop blocking Bledsoe's layup but the ball remains with the Bucks. Brook Lopez was fouled in the final seconds but misses two crucial free-throws. Giannis gets the offensive rebound and try to draw a foul but the refs didn't call it and the New York Knicks took away the victory, 136-134.
The Bucks had a lot of chances in the final minute of the game to win it but they didn't deliver. Giannis Antetokounmpo was so upset with the officials for not calling a foul in the final play of the game but I don't think he should be upset with the officiating. I think he should be upset of their lack of performance in the fourth period where they blew up a nine point lead with three minutes remaining that sends the game to over time.
The Knicks had a lot of young talents in their roster right now. Mario Hezonja, Emmanuel Mudiay, Mitchell Robinson, Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, I think those players have a high ceiling and will be good players in the future. Emmanuel Mudiay is showing up this past few games and I think he is there. He is figuring it out and he is finding his rhythm. And about Frank Ntilikina, I don't think he will be a great player. The Knicks should've picked Dennis Smith Jr. in the draft instead of Ntilikina. Lastly, looks like the Knicks found a gem on undrafted guard Allonzo Trier who is playing well and giving them huge numbers off the bench. He's a nice pick up for the Knicks and he deserves more minutes.
Emmanuel Mudiay - 28 pts, 3 reb, 7 ast, 1 stl
Kevin Knox - 26 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk
Tim Hardaway Jr. - 21 pts, 4 reb, 8 ast
Damyean Dotson - 21 pts, 5 reb
Giannis Antetokounmpo - 33 pts, 19 reb, 7 ast, 3 stl, 2 blk
Eric Bledsoe - 27 pts, 5 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl
Malcolm Brogdon - 22 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl