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Bucks hand Knicks 11th straight loss

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NEW YORK — The Milwaukee Bucks held the Knicks to under 50 percent shooting, the eighth straight game they did so to an opponent, in a 95-82 win over New York Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

New York shot 40.8 percent (31 of 76), making just 9 of its 25 3-point attempts. The Knicks are 22nd in the league in field-goal percentage.

The defensive effort helped Milwaukee (18-17) to its fourth straight road victory in almost three years. The streak is the Bucks’ longest on the road since winning five straight from March 11 to March 23 in 2012. Milwaukee ended last season 0-14 on the road, but are 11-10 this season away from home.

“When we play with our pace, we have a chance,” said Bucks coach Jason Kidd. “Being able to play defense, take away the three and rebound the ball are the keys.

“The fact that we were able to take out the Knicks’ 3-point shooting and turnovers helped us extend the lead.”

Milwaukee out-rebounded the Knicks 48-36.

Point guard Brandon Knight led the Bucks with 17 points and center Zaza Pachulia chipped in with 16 points and 14 rebounds for his fourth double-double this season. Shooting guard Giannis Antetokounmpo added 16 points and 12 rebounds.

The Knicks (5-31), who were without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony for the second straight game due to a sore left knee, suffered their 11th straight loss and 20th in 21 games. New York hadn’t lost 11 straight in a single season since the 1984-85 season.

“Losing isn’t enjoyable in any way, shape or form,” admitted Knicks coach Derek Fisher. “From an emotional point, you just have to continue to manage what you can control.”

Guard Tim Hardaway Jr., playing in his first game since suffering a concussion on Dec. 31 against the Clippers, led the Knicks with 17 points in 38 minutes.

New York failed to get within 11 points in the fourth quarter.

The Knicks never got closer than eight points in the third quarter as Milwaukee built a 16-point cushion twice. Knight contributed nine points for the Bucks in the quarter.

The Knicks moved to within 24-23 early in the second, but were thwarted by a 16-6 Bucks run that provided Milwaukee with a 40-29 lead with 4:16 left in the half.

“We have a number of young guys who are trying to learn how to play in this league right now,” said Fisher. “Guys we didn’t expect to have to play the roles that they are playing right now.

“For young players, it’s about us helping to raise their awareness of situations.”

The lead changed hands 11 times in the first quarter before forward John Henson’s layup with 23 seconds remaining gave the Bucks a 22-21 edge. Hardaway scored eight points in the frame.

NOTES: The Knicks used their 19th different starting lineup in 36 games. C Andrea Bargnani (strained right calf), G Iman Shumpert (dislocated left shoulder) and C Amar’e Stoudemire (sore right knee) did not dress for the game. … Milwaukee F Ersan IIlyasova missed his sixth straight game with a concussion. … Milwaukee is fifth in the league in steals per game (9.00). … The Knicks rank fourth in free throw percentage (.783) and 29th in scoring (93.7). … The Bucks bench is the highest scoring unit in the league, averaging 44.7 points per game. The reserves scored 28 points on Sunday, led by Kendall Marshall’s 15 points. … The Knicks are 1-28 when they shoot below 50 percent from the floor. … Milwaukee G Brandon Knight’s nine-game streak of hitting two or more 3-pointers ended.

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

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