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Knicks 90, Bucks 83

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony showed Wednesday why he is among the most dangerous scorers in the NBA.

The Knicks forward scored four key points late in the fourth quarter to lift New York to a 90-83 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in the season opener for both teams at Madison Square Garden.

Anthony, who led the league in scoring and finished third in the MVP voting last season, led all scorers with 19 points. Gary Neal led the revamped Bucks with 16 points.

Raymond Felton added 18 points for the Knicks, who utilized a small lineup for much of the game.

The Knicks were without J.R. Smith, the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year last season, who is serving a five-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug program.

The Bucks took their first lead of the game at 81-80 when John Henson hit the first of two free throws with 3:20 to play, but the Knicks closed out the win with a 9-3 run.

The decisive stretch started with a dunk from Tyson Chandler, then included a tip-in and offensive rebound from Anthony and another slam from Chandler with 26.1 left.

The Bucks squeezed back into the game in the third quarter after trailing by 25 at the half. They outscored the Knicks 33-18 in the quarter behind eight points from Zaza Pachulia, pulling within 74-64.

Milwaukee's starting point guard, Brandon Knight, left the game 1:45 into the first quarter with a strained right hamstring, and he never returned. He was replaced by Neal and rookie Nate Wolters, who combined for 25 points.

The Bucks were already down one point guard before the game, as Luke Ridnour was scratched due to back spasms.

New York led 25-21 with 10:09 left in the half, then went on a 31-10 run to close out the half. Anthony contributed eight of his 12 first-half points in the spurt.

NOTES: One-third of the players on the Bucks' roster are from outside the United States. The five players -- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Carlos Delino (Argentina), Ersan Iiyasova (Turkey), Zaza Pachulia (Georgia) and Miroslav Raduljica (Serbia) -- are the fourth-most foreigners on an NBA roster this season, following the Spurs (10), Cavaliers and Timberwolves (six each). ... Only four of the 15 players on the Milwaukee roster this season were on last season's team. That is the largest roster turnover in team history. ... Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he plans to platoon his reserve PFs Amar'e Stoudemire (30) and Kenyon Martin (35) this season, alternating their playing time. ... The Knicks exercised their fourth-year contract option on G Iman Shumpert, who is entering his third season. He averaged 6.8 points last season. ... Woodson and first-year Bucks coach Larry Drew were teammates on the Kansas City Kings from 1981-86.
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