Knicks takeaways from Monday’s 111-107 loss to Bucks, including four-game winning streak snapped

Jan 9, 2023;  New York, New York, USA;  New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) drives to the basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half at Madison Square Garden.

Jan 9, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) drives to the basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

the Knicks fell short in the fourth quarter and lost to the Milwaukee Bucks, 111-107, snapping their four-game winning streak.

With RJ Barrett “real close” to returning to the court but still sidelined, Tom Thibodeau‘s starting five consisted of Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson.

Here are the takeaways…

– New York fell into a 10-2 hole to start the game, as Brunson scored the team’s first field goal on a foul line jumper, was fouled, and completed the three-point play to cut the Milwaukee lead. Former Knick Bobby Portis made a floater to make it a six-point game, and Thibs called timeout with 5:46 left in the first after an offensive rebound. Randle then finally scored after an 0-for-8 start from the field, including six missed three-pointers.

Brunson gave the Knicks their first lead of the night to go up, 14-13, and force the Bucks to call timeout. The Villanova product then nailed his second three of the opening quarter and hit a pull-up jumper on the next possession while the two teams traded baskets. The Knicks and Bucks were tied at 22-22 through the first, as Brunson scored 18 points. New York shot just 2-for-18 from deep and Randle was 0-for-8 from beyond the arc. Obi Toppin checked into the game for Randle with 3:47 left in the first, and played his first minutes since Dec. 7.

– Quickley scored on three straight possessions to open the second quarter to put the Knicks up, 28-26. Quickley scored again after two Randle baskets, and then Miles McBride stole the ball from Pat Connaughton and made a three-pointer to put the Knicks up 40-36 midway through the second. Brunson made a floater in traffic and then Toppin stole the inbound pass, but the Knicks couldn’t capitalize on the extra possession. New York outscored Milwaukee, 29-24, in the second and led, 51-46, at halftime. Despite leading, the Knicks only shot 34 percent from the field and were 4-for-26 from three. Brunson had 20 first-half points and Quickley contributed 13 points in the second to give him 15 of his own. Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was held in check with just nine points through two quarters.

– Randle finally made his first three-pointer after nine misses and then cut to the rim for the one-and-one layup to put the Knicks up 57-48 early in the third quarter. Later on, Brunson pushed the lead to 15 and Robinson made his presence felt with a big block on Antetokounmpo. Randle grabbed an offensive rebound and hit Quickley for three to make it a 73-58 game with about three minutes left in the third. The Bucks went on a 10-0 run to make it a close game, and after two Brunson free throws, Connaughton hit a three with 2.1 seconds left and trailed just 78-73 heading into the fourth quarter.

– Toppin opened the fourth with a three-pointer for his first points of the night, but Brook Lopez, Grayson Allen, and Joe Ingles all made threes to put the Bucks up, 82-81. Brunson and Allen then traded threes, and after a Greek Freak layup, Evan Fournier scored his first basket of the night to tie the game. Robinson scored his first points on a huge dunk down low and then Brunson hit a side-step three to give him 32 points and put the Knicks up, 94-92 with 4:18 left.

Brunson gave the Knicks a lead with a tough floater, but Jrue Holiday came right back with his first three-pointer of the night to put the Bucks back ahead. Milwaukee got an offensive rebound and Holiday hit another three to put the Bucks up, 103-99, with 47 seconds remaining. Brunson and Holiday traded baskets, but Lopez dunked it in to extend Milwaukee’s lead to 107-103. The Bucks would then ice the game with free throws.

– Brunson finished with a new regular-season career-high 44 points on 15-for-30 shooting, including 4-for-10 from three, to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Randle struggled shooting, going 9-for-29 and 1-for-12 from three, but ended with 25 points, 16 rebounds and five assists. Quickley scored 23 points on an efficient 9-for-14 shooting. The Knicks shot just 38 percent from the field and 26.8 percent from three.


What’s next

The Knicks will stay at home and take on the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday at 7:30pm

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