Giannis, Bucks look to keep rolling against Knicks
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Giannis Antetokounmpo made his NBA debut in a five-minute cameo against the New York Knicks on Oct. 30, 2013, at Madison Square Garden, and he scored 10 points in his first NBA start while facing the Knicks on Dec. 18, 2013.
Six years later, Antetokounmpo has made a habit of consistently dominating the Knicks, and these days the forward and the rest of the Milwaukee Bucks are running roughshod over the rest of the NBA.
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks attempt to run their winning streak to 12 games Monday night when they host the Knicks.
The Bucks are 8-1 in their last nine meetings, the one loss a 136-134 overtime affair in New York on Dec. 1, 2018, when Milwaukee blew a 16-point lead.
For his career, Antetokounmpo is averaging 20.7 points on 50.2 percent shooting, and Milwaukee is 15-3 against the Knicks with him in the starting lineup since the 2013-14 season. Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in his last five games against the Knicks and has a double-double in his last eight games against New York.
Milwaukee's three losses this season are by a combined 19 points. Since losing on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Bojan Bogdanovic Nov. 8 in Utah, the Bucks are on their longest winning streak since also winning 11 in a row Jan. 9-Feb. 2, 1985.
A win on Monday would give Milwaukee 12 straight victories for the first time since Jan. 26-Feb. 21, 1982, and would be its sixth winning streak of at least 12 games in team history.
Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.9 points and 13.4 rebounds this season, and during Milwaukee's winning streak he is averaging 32.4 points and 12.7 rebounds while shooting 55.1 percent.
Antetokounmpo had a double-double in every game this season until Saturday's 137-96 rout over Charlotte when he finished with 26 points and nine rebounds while playing 19:37. His season-opening streak of double-doubles left him well short of Bill Walton's 34 straight in 1976-77 with Portland.
"He's doing amazing things and there's more to come," coach Mike Budenholzer said after Milwaukee's most lopsided win this season. "We're trying to have conversations with him about being healthy and fresh and how important that is. Pretty incredible if you're being mentioned with the greats of our game."
The Knicks enter at 4-16, matching their worst 20-game start in team history. The Knicks matched the mark set by the 2014-15 team when they took a 113-104 home loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon.
The Knicks are on a six-game losing streak and 2-8 since team president Steve Mills gave a lengthy press conference following a blowout home loss to Cleveland on Nov. 10. The Knicks sustained their latest loss by getting outscored 32-19 in the fourth and 26-11 in the last 8:01, two days after blowing a 16-point lead to Philadelphia.
"We came out and played hard," Knicks rookie RJ Barrett said. "Even in those moments we still got to stick together and make the right plays."
Julius Randle led the Knicks with 26 points but New York was without leading scorer Marcus Morris (neck spasms) and lost starting point guard Frank Ntilikina (sore back) after the first quarter. Morris, who leads the Knicks in scoring at 18.7 points per game, was replaced by struggling second-year forward Kevin Knox, who scored 11 after not playing Friday.