Giannis Antetokounmpo fouls out in fourth but Knicks still lose

The Knicks had them on the ropes.

It was an sudden flip of occasions at MSG for the reason that opponent, the Bucks, are the elite of the Jap Convention and a authentic title contender. However the scrappy Knicks had the sting late Wednesday with Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out and a number of alternatives to take the lead.

However they blew it.

The Knicks missed two crucial free throws within the last minute, and Grayson Allen buried the most important shot of the evening — a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining to interrupt the tie — permitting the Bucks to flee with a 109-103 victory.

Antetokounmpo was dominant with 37 factors, seven assists and 13 rebounds, however he dedicated his sixth foul with one minute remaining and the Bucks main by two.

Jalen Brunson, who has been nice for the Knicks total however is struggling in clutch moments, then missed a free throw that will’ve given the Knicks a lead with 48 seconds left.

RJ Barrett also missed a possible tying trey within the last 30 seconds. The clutch bucket by no means arrived and the Knicks (10-12), who hung round longer than anticipated, left with yet one more defeat in opposition to a superior opponent.

Robinson dominated the glass with 20 rebounds — together with 11 offensive — and Barrett was environment friendly till the fourth quarter. However they have been once more lacking the nearer, identical to Sunday’s home defeat to the Grizzlies.

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It was a tough begin Wednesday for Brunson, who landed awkwardly on the opening possession and retreated to the locker room. Brunson re-emerged later within the first quarter however by no means discovered a rhythm, even earlier than lacking the pivotal free throw. He entered the evening taking pictures 90% from the road however missed three of his 4 makes an attempt Wednesday.

The Knicks have been enjoying on the second evening of a back-to-back after touring Tuesday night from Detroit. They’ve fallen to each authentic star they’ve confronted this season — Ja Morant (twice), Giannis Antetokounmpo (twice), Donovan Mitchell, Trae Younger, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (cut up two video games), Devin Booker and Steph Curry.

The Knicks are lacking that star piece, which, two years in the past, led Thibodeau to his most candid feedback as New York’s coach. Thibodeau stated touchdown a star was “crucial” and the Knicks have to be “aggressive,” which got here throughout as a critique of a entrance workplace that simply completed a conservative-free offseason.

Quick ahead to 2022 and the Knicks nonetheless don’t have a star however Thibodeau discovered to bop round any matters which can be controversial.

“How do you get [stars]? Clearly there’s a variety of totally different paths to get them,” Thibodeau stated Wednesday. “The place Giannis is now isn’t the place Giannis was as a rookie. He’s made himself into that. They’ve completed a fantastic job creating him and placing the fitting gamers round him as effectively. So no matter alternatives you do get you clearly take a look at your individual group first and attempt to develop the gamers that you’ve. And also you take a look at free company, you take a look at commerce potentialities. However you’re at all times wanting so as to add what your group wants to enhance.”

Thibodeau then pivoted to his present roster.

“I just like the younger guys we do have. I’m what Jalen has completed within the fourth quarter. He’s one of many high gamers within the fourth quarter,” the coach stated. “Julius has had massive moments for us. RJ has had massive moments. So that you take a look at the gamers you may have and also you need them to enhance. Hopefully they’ll get there.”

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