Bottom's up: Knicks fall to Bucks, worst team in NBA
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MILWAUKEE -- The Knicks have had some bad losses this season, but considering the opponent, this one had to rank very high on the list.
The Bucks, the NBA's worst team, brought an 8-39 record into the game and had lost 15 of their last 16 games. But Milwaukee looked hungrier than the Knicks, outplayed them throughout and pulled out a 101-98 win Monday night at the Bradley Center.
Brandon Knight, who had his way with Raymond Felton all night, drilled the game-winning three-pointer over Felton with 1.4 seconds left. Carmelo Anthony had one final try, but his contested three-pointer was long and the Knicks fell to 19-29.
"It hurts, man," Anthony said. "Despite what went on throughout the course of the game, we still had a chance, we felt, to win this basketball game. I don't want to say to give it away, because [Knight] hit that shot. But this is one of them games we're going to look back at it and say we should've won."
Anthony had 36 points, 17 coming in the fourth quarter after the Knicks fell behind by 10. J.R. Smith added 30. No other player scored in double figures for the Knicks, who shot 15-for-24 from the foul line (62.5 percent).
Knight led the Bucks with 25. On the possession before his three-pointer, he lost Felton on a backdoor play, took a feed from Zaza Pachulia and hit an easy layup to make it 98-95 with 27.9 seconds left.
Felton left the locker room after the game without speaking to the media.
"I thought we played kind of on a roller coaster," Mike Woodson said. "When it was time to really try and secure it, we couldn't get it done based on our defense."
Khris Middleton added 19 points for the Bucks, who won for only the second time in 2014. Greek rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo scored eight of his 15 in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks, who got Iman Shumpert back after he missed two games with a sprained right shoulder, came in having won four of their last five and believed they were on the rise.
But they played with no sense of urgency and never led in the second half, misfiring three times in the fourth quarter with a chance to go ahead. The Knicks also allowed 101 points to a team that had been held to fewer than 90 in nine of their previous 16 games.
The Bucks came in ranked 25th in three-point accuracy but shot 11-for-18 (61.1 percent). Many were wide-open looks. Middleton was 5-for-6 and Knight 4-for-8. The Knicks also gave up four offensive rebounds in the fourth that led to eight points.
"You can lose any night," Tyson Chandler said. "It doesn't matter who you play against. No wins in the NBA are free. You got to come out and you got to earn them."
After Anthony drilled a three-pointer to tie it at 98 with 19.4 seconds left, the Bucks were out of timeouts. Knight brought the ball up on Felton and buried the dagger, and Woodson wasn't happy with the way Felton defended him.
"Ray kind of backed off a little bit," Woodson said. "I thought he could have been a little bit more aggressive on it. He kind of walked into it. He made a hell of a shot. Ray's hand was up there.
"We just couldn't get the stops. We made offensive plays to stay in it. But we just couldn't get the stops when we needed them."