MILWAUKEE -- Before his team hosted the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles wasn't shy about what the Bucks had to do in order to win their second consecutive game.
In short, the Bucks had to find a way to keep Carmelo Anthony in check.
The plan didn't work as well as Milwaukee had hoped. Anthony scored 29 points and pulled down eight rebounds as the Knicks handed the Bucks a 102-88 defeat, Milwaukee's fourth defeat in the past five games.
The Knicks (10-4) won for just the second time in five games.
Anthony went 9-for-18 from the field and was one of five Knicks to score in double digits.
"The things we wanted to do, that we talked about before the game, like making Carmelo have an inefficient game and controlling their 3-point shots, neither one of those happened," Skiles said.
New York forward Steve Novak, who grew up in the Milwaukee area and played for Marquette, had one of his best games of the young season. He finished with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting while going 5-of-7 from beyond the 3-point arc.
He played a career-high 39 minutes.
"Coach (Mike Woodson) gave me good minutes, a good opportunity to be out there," Novak said. "I was feeling good, and Coach just had confidence in me. There's no place like playing at home. Playing at Madison Square Garden is unbelievable, but there's nothing like being at home, close to your place."
Tyson Chandler scored 17 points for the Knicks, Raymond Felton had 12, and Pablo Prigioni added 11.
The Bucks (7-6) were unable to duplicate the late-game heroics and strong bench play that played key roles in a 93-92 victory Monday in Chicago.
Beno Udrih and Brandon Jennings led Milwaukee with 18 points each, while Monta Ellis added 17 and Marquis Daniels scored 11.
After rallying from 27 down against the Bulls, the Bucks again found themselves in a big hole, trailing New York by as many as 22 in the fourth quarter.
"Big leads are not big in this league," Woodson said. "We had a nice spurt at the end of the second quarter to come in up 10, but I thought the third quarter was where we really picked it up from a defensive standpoint."
The Bucks struggled in the post, getting just eight total points from frontcourt players Tobias Harris, John Henson, Samuel Dalembert, Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova and Ekpe Udoh.
And with defensive specialist Luc Richard Mbah a Moute yet to play this year after undergoing knee surgery in May, the Milwaukee frontcourt also had a hard time finding ways to contain Anthony.
"He had 20 in the first half, and we held him to nine in the second half," said Daniels, who also spent time guarding Anthony. "He's an All-Star player. You have to make it tough for him to score. He hit some early shots, but I think we did a better job in the second half."
The Bucks shot 45 percent (33-for-72) but were 5-for-13 on 3-point attempts.
Milwaukee caught a break in the final seconds of the first quarter. Anthony grabbed the rebound on Udrih's failed 3-pointer and attempted a break down the sideline. Ellis made a perfect steal, drew the foul and connected on two free throws to give Milwaukee a 26-23 lead after one quarter.
Novak's 3-pointer with 6:04 left in the half pushed the Knicks to a 38-33 lead. The Bucks cut into the lead, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Novak and Anthony kept New York ahead. The Knicks quickly pushed the lead into double digits and went into halftime up 58-48.
NOTES: Knicks guard Jason Kidd was not with the team Wednesday, and he missed his second consecutive game because of back spasms. ... Ronnie Brewer was in the Knicks' starting lineup despite injuring his finger at practice Wednesday morning. He scored two points. ... Henson, making his second consecutive start in place of the struggling Ilyasova, finished scoreless in 12 minutes. ... New York has won the past three meetings against Milwaukee ... The Knicks lead the league in 3-pointers made (11.69 per game) and attempted (28.46 per game)... Milwaukee's Doron Lamb hit his first career 3-pointer with 3:14 to play in the second quarter.