Giannis Antetokounmpo could feel the Bucks playing with more energy and could sense a shift in their confidence on their three-point shots.
“Once we made one, then we made the second one,” he said. “Then we made the third one.”
And pretty soon, their 17-point deficit was gone.
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Antetokounmpo had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Milwaukee rallied in the second half and beat the New York Knicks 111-107.
Joe Ingles added a season-high 17 points and Brook Lopez also scored 17 for the Bucks, who made 12 three-pointers after falling behind 70-53 with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
“I think in the long run we’re going to make a lot of those shots,” Ingles said.
The Aussie, who didn’t play for the Bucks until last month after missing the first 29 games recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee, helped fuel the comeback with five three-pointers.
“It’s nice to finish a game, it’s nice to be in those situations obviously,” he added.
Ingles was showered with praise for his role in the comeback win, proving to be the perfect fit on the championship-contending Bucks roster.
Lopez made one that snapped a 97-all tie before Jrue Holiday — forced to the bench after committing three fouls inside the first five minutes — scored five straight Milwaukee points. The Bucks closed it out at the free throw line to snap the Knicks’ four-game winning streak and bounce back nicely after allowing a season-worst 51 points in the first quarter of their loss to Charlotte on Saturday.
Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 44 points for the Knicks, adding seven assists. Julius Randle had 25 points, 16 rebounds and five assists, but was just 1-for-12 from three-point range.
The Knicks were hoping to continue streaking to the midpoint of their schedule, having followed an eight-game winning streak and a five-game skid with four straight victories. They fell to 22-19.
Randle finally made a three-pointer after an 0-for-9 first half on the first possession of the third quarter, and his free throws capped a 13-2 spurt midway through the period that extended a six-point lead to 70-53.
The Knicks still led by 16 after Randle’s three-point play with 2:25 remaining, but didn’t make another basket in the quarter as Milwaukee closed with a 13-2 run of its own to trim it to 78-73.
Obi Toppin opened the fourth with a three-pointer, but Lopez, Grayson Allen and Ingles followed with three in a row for Milwaukee to give the Bucks an 82-81 lead.
“I think we didn’t close the third out well and then the start of the fourth same thing, so that’s probably the biggest thing,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Neither team led by more than three again until Holiday’s three-pointer made it 103-99 with 47 seconds to play.
Brunson’s aggressive start quickly put Holiday in foul trouble, forcing him to the bench within five minutes. But the Bucks’ big men were much more effective defending Randle, who was 1-for-12, missing all eight three-point attempts.
Brunson was just 1-for-6 in the second, but Immanuel Quickley stepped up with 13 points as the Knicks took a 51-46 lead to the break.
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