The Bucks look to put together another strong defensive effort against the Knicks and sweep the season series for the first time in 18 years as the teams meet at the Bradley Center on Tuesday night.
New York (25-37) has lost 12 of 16 and is out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference, but a lack of offense certainly isn’t to blame. The Knicks are averaging 111.4 points in that span—the third-highest mark in the league.
Fourth in the NBA in scoring (106.0), New York has reached triple figures in 23 straight games. The Knicks’ opponents, however, have reached at least 100 points in all but four of those contests.
New York has been held under 90 points just eight times this season. No team seems to have as little trouble stopping the Knicks as the Bucks (30-36) have.
Milwaukee is 3-0 against New York, allowing 84.7 points per game and 36.6 percent shooting in those matchups. A victory Tuesday would give the Bucks their first sweep of the Knicks since going 4-0 in 1990-91.
Milwaukee, though, has given up a total of 237 points in its last two contests. The Bucks beat Golden State 127-120 on Saturday night, snapping a three-game losing streak after almost squandering a 13-point lead with 9:15 left.
In contention for one of the East’s final playoff spots, Milwaukee had lost seven of nine before facing Golden State in the opener of a season-high six-game homestand. The Bucks have won three of four at home, but their current stretch at the Bradley Center includes upcoming matchups with New Orleans, Boston, Orlando and Portland.
“This is a big stretch for us, we’ve got to take care of home,” Milwaukee swingman Charlie Bell said. “If we do that, we’re going to stay right there (in the postseason chase).”
The Bucks, missing Michael Redd (knee) and Andrew Bogut (back) most of the season, have been led by Richard Jefferson. The veteran forward had a season-high 35 points versus the Warriors and is averaging a team-high 18.8 after spending his first seven seasons with New Jersey.
The Knicks lost to the Nets 106-101 on Sunday, missing four straight shots and committing three turnovers in the final 1:15. It was the fifth loss in six games for New York, which opened a five-game trip.
“It’s our whole mentality. We have to get better as a team. We’re not quite good enough yet,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “They’re playing hard. They are trying. They’ve just got to learn to move the ball and execute and get a little bit better defensively.”
New York continues to get outstanding play from David Lee, who had 19 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and five steals against New Jersey. The fourth-year big man is averaging 21.4 points and 13.2 rebounds in his last seven road games.