MILWAUKEE (AP) - Giannis Antetokounmpo followed up his MVP performance in the All-Star Game with his fifth triple-double of the season to help the Milwaukee Bucks trounce the New York Knicks 134-101 on Thursday night.
Antetokounmpo had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in 29 minutes, and the Bucks handed the Knicks their most one-sided loss of the season. Bryn Forbes added 21 points and made all seven of his 3-point attempts as the Bucks shot 57.5% from the floor.
The Knicks entered the night leading the NBA in scoring defense (104.4), field-goal percentage defense (.435) and 3-point percentage defense (.330).
“We were just playing good basketball,” Antetokounmpo said. “We were moving the ball. We were aggressive. We tried to go downhill, finding one another. We were just playing good basketball, just having fun out there.”
The Bucks have won seven of their last eight and now prepare to begin a three-game road swing.
Antetokounmpo was playing for the first time since earning MVP honors at Sunday’s All-Star Game by shooting 16 of 16 from the floor (3 of 3 on 3-point attempts) and scoring 35 points. That marked the first time in All-Star Game history that someone had shot 100% from the floor with at least 10 attempts.
He went 8 of 12 from the floor and made all seven of his free throws Thursday. Antetokounmpo was one of seven Bucks to score in double figures.
“We didn’t take care of the transition,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We didn’t take care of the paint. We didn’t take care of covering the line. And then we didn’t finish our defense with rebounding well. They pretty much got everything that they wanted.”
RJ Barrett had 22 points, Alec Burks 17 and Immanuel Quickley 15 for the Knicks.
Brook Lopez scored eight points during a 14-0 run in the first quarter as the Bucks turned a 16-12 deficit into a 26-16 lead they never relinquished.
Milwaukee gained a measure of revenge after falling 130-110 at New York on Dec. 27.
The Bucks shot a season-low 18.4% (7 of 38) in that game while New York was 16 of 27 from beyond the arc. The Bucks were 18 of 38 and the Knicks went 13 of 37 on 3-point attempts Thursday.
“I think we were locked in defensively, which made it a lot easier on the offensive end,” Forbes said. “The last time we played them, they had a large amount of 3’s, and they were flowing on offense. I think us stopping them on defense let our offense kind of go from there.”
Knicks: Derrick Rose missed a third straight game due to the league’s health and safety protocols. Taj Gibson returned from a sprained left ankle and had seven points in 26 minutes. Gibson had missed the Knicks’ last three games before the All-Star break. … Julius Randle had seven points, eight rebounds and six assists but shot just 3 of 12. Randle had 29 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in the victory over the Bucks back in December.
Bucks: Jrue Holiday returned to Milwaukee’s starting lineup for the first time since missing 10 games due to COVID-19. Holiday returned to action Feb. 28 but had come off the bench in his first three games back. … The Bucks announced that local health officials will allow them to have about 3,200 spectators – 18% of Fiserv Forum’s capacity – for home games beginning March 20 against San Antonio. The Bucks currently are permitted to fill 10% of the arena’s capacity, which gives them about 1,800 spectators. … Mamadi Diakite, a member of Virginia’s 2019 national championship team, made his NBA debut in the closing minutes.
Knicks: At Oklahoma City on Saturday in the second game of a four-game road swing.
Bucks: At Washington on Saturday in the first of two straight games with the Wizards.
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