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Bucks 95, Knicks 79

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Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points in his return to action, but it wasn’t nearly enough to help the New York Knicks avoid a 95-79 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday at O2 Arena in London.

The Knicks, losers of a franchise-record 16 in a row, were never in the game.

New York couldn’t buy a shot to open the game, missing their first five from the field while Milwaukee jumped out to a 14-0 lead.

The Knicks answered with nine straight points but turned the ball over six times.

The Bucks built a 31-13 lead in the first quarter behind nine points from forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, eight each from shooting guard O.J. Mayo and point guard Brandon Knight, who added three assists and three steals, and seven rebounds from center Zaza Pachulia.

Carmelo Anthony hit 5 of 9 shots from the field and scored 17 points in the first half.

In his first game since New Year’s Eve, Anthony ended up playing 28 minutes.

New York also got 11 from point guard Jose Calderon, 13 from small forward Travis Wear and 10 from shooting guard Tim Hardaway, who fouled out late in the fourth quarter.

Down 26 after three quarters, the Knicks showed signs of life with a 20-5 run to open the fourth quarter that brought New York within 11. But a 3-pointer by Mayo made it 92-76 with 3:05 to play.

Mayo hit four 3-pointers to finish with a team-best 22 points. Knight had 20 points, five rebounds, six assists and six steals. Antetokounmpo scored 16 points.

Guard Khris Middleton hit two 3-pointers on the way to 14 points and Pachulia notched a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

The Bucks (21-19) only shot 39 percent from the field but got to the free throw line 42 times and made 41.

Bucks guard Kendall Marshall suffered a sprained right knee in the first half and did not return.

Milwaukee has won three of its last four.

NOTES: New York is playing a regular-season game in London for the second time in three years. The Knicks defeated the Detroit Pistons 102-87 on Jan. 17, 2013, at O2 Arena. … The Bucks are playing overseas for the first time in franchise history. … Milwaukee has won the first two meetings between the teams this season. … Both teams got a boost Thursday as F Carmelo Anthony, who missed six games with a sore left knee, and F Amar’e Stoudemire, also dealing with knee problems, were available for the Knicks and F Ersan Ilyasova was cleared to return for the Bucks. Ilyasova hadn’t played since suffering a concussion on Dec. 23 against Charlotte. … With Ilyasova back, Bucks coach Jason Kidd left F Johnny O’Bryant in the starting lineup and said he planned to use Kenyon Martin, signed to a 10-day contract, at both power forward and center and would also consider using him at small forward, depending on matchups.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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