Written by William Lee
The Milwaukee Bucks were without their two top scorers Wednesday night, O.J. Mayo did not play because he went home to attend his grandmother’s funeral, and Caron Butler was suffering from a swollen knee. Tyson Chandler made his return to the Knicks from his fractured right fibula injury, which kept him sidelined for six weeks. Chandler’s return was much needed for the Knicks, he brought the defensive energy the Knicks sorely missed, and collected crucial rebounds down the stretch of the game. The Knicks needed everything he gave, 9 points 9 rebounds (5 of it being on the offensive glass) and 3 blocks in 37 minutes of play. With the extended minutes of play from the double overtime, Tyson Chandler suffered from cramps down the stretch. Playing so many minutes, after missing so much time, he had trainers working on the cramps every timeout.
New York won the game 107-101 in double overtime despite themselves, making mental errors down the stretch. Milwaukee jumped out quickly in the first overtime leading by four points, with Khris Middleton knocking down a quick three, scoring 20 points and grabbing 9 rebounds for the game. Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo played great defense on Carmelo Anthony all game, who had 29 points, but it took 29 shots to get it. After Tyson Chandler split a pair of free throws, there was defensive confusion on the Knicks’ coverage, as they let Brandon Knight knocked down an uncontested jump shot, to give the Bucks a four point lead with 3:43 remaining in the first overtime. If anyone should not have been open, it was Brandon Knight, who torched the Knicks all night long, scoring a career high 36 points, including six three pointers.
The Knicks responded with back to back threes from J.R. Smith and Beno Udrih to take a two point lead 94-92, with 2:49 remaining in the first overtime. J.R. Smith set a Knicks’ franchise record in three point shots attempted at 17 on Wednesday night’s game, also tying a personal career high in attempts as well. Beno Udrih has played while replacing the injured Raymond Felton in the starting lineup, scoring 21 points, on an effective 8/12 including five three pointers. It looked like the Knicks were well on their way to a victory getting three straight defensive stops, with two possessions ending in Tyson Chandler blocks, and another with an Ersan Illyasova traveling violation. With 33.3 seconds remaining, and the Knicks coming out of a timeout, New York needed one more score to cement a W in the Wins column. With the shot clock winding down, Anthony missed a jump shot, Tyson Chandler got the offensive rebound, batting the ball back towards Andrea Bargnani, who inexplicably instead of holding onto the ball, and waiting for the Bucks to foul him, shot a three, missing, giving Milwaukee another chance to tie or win the game. And that is what would happen as John Henson tipped in a Brandon Knight miss with .3 seconds remaining to tie the game up at 94-94.
Carmelo Anthony would bail out Andrea Bargnani’s mental error in the second overtime, scoring eight points in the period, including a clutch three, that gave the Knicks a 104-98 lead with 50.1 seconds remaining in the extra session. Anthony played a career high 55 minutes, who did not get any rest, after the half time intermission. The Knicks this time around, would hold onto their lead, as terrible as it looked, a win is a win, winning 107-101. The Knicks will have a few days to rest and reflect on this game, with their next game coming Saturday afternoon.