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Knicks 115, Bucks 94

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Thanks to stellar shooting and aggressive team rebounding, the New York Knicks jumped all over the Milwaukee Bucks for a 115-94 win Saturday.

The Knicks (27-40) received 28 of their 41 rebounds from their starters as they helped eliminate second-chance shots for the Bucks and are riding a season-high six-game winning streak. New York is inching closer to reaching the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs race.

The Knicks were led by small forward Carmelo Anthony's game-high 23 points, but also received large contributions from shooting guard J.R. Smith, power forward Amar'e Stoudemire, shooting guard Iman Shumpert and rookie shooting guard Tim Hardaway, Jr.

Smith and Stoudemire regularly come off the bench, but coach Mike Woodson shook up the lineup and started the veteran duo. They rewarded the switch by contributing 15 points apiece, while also showing off well-rounded games. Smith added a game-high eight rebounds and a team-high four assists, while Stoudemire contributed six rebounds and a blocked shot.

Shumpert, who used to be a regular in the starting rotation, added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists off the bench, while Hardaway Jr. registered 20 points -- including 11 in the first half.

Milwaukee's young backcourt of point guard Brandon Knight and rookie shooting guard Nate Wolters scored 14 and 15 points, respectively.

The first half was the turning point in the game, as the Knicks shot 56.4 percent from the field and led 60-42 at the break. The Bucks (13-53) never threatened again.

The 60-point mark at halftime was the fifth time in six games that the Knicks reached that milestone.

The Knicks shot 55.3 percent (including 56.4 percent in the first half) while the Bucks shot 43.2 percent (including a respectable 47.4 percent in the first half).

NOTES: The Knicks will hold a press conference on Tuesday to make a major announcement. The decree is likely the official hiring of legendary head coach Phil Jackson to head the franchise's basketball operations. ... The Knicks won by at least 10 points for the sixth straight time for just the second time in franchise history. ... F Carmelo Anthony tallied all of his points in just three quarters, as the Knicks' 88-66 margin entering the fourth quarter allowed the team to rest him. ... SG Tim Hardaway Jr. continued his torrid streak by adding 11 points in the first half. Hardaway Jr., who ranks in the top five of every major rookie statistical category, shot five of seven in the first half to finish eight of 12 for the game. It was the third straight game in which scored at least 20 points. ... ... C Tyson Chandler made his return to the lineup after missing the last game due to personal reasons and registered two points and five rebounds in 26 minutes of action.
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