Knicks outlast Bucks in double OT
MILWAUKEE -- After getting center Tyson Chandler back for the first time in 20 games, the last thing New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson wanted to do was play Chandler 36 minutes.
Woodson had little choice but to do so Wednesday, as the Knicks needed two overtimes before finally knocking off the Milwaukee Bucks 107-101 in a matchup of two of the Eastern Conference's worst teams.
"It was good to get Tyson back," Woodson said. "I was hoping not to play him as many minutes, I was hoping to keep him somewhere in the high-20s but just couldn't do it."
Chandler didn't post extraordinary numbers -- nine points, nine rebounds -- but just getting back on the court for the first time since Nov. 5 was an accomplishment.
"There was a time where he was trying to take me out," Chandler said. "I was like, 'Don't you do it. I want to get this win.' I felt good out there. I never feel like I was ever in jeopardy or anything like that. He was trying to protect me, but I felt I was all right."
As a team, the Knicks (8-17) struggled from the field. They shot 37.6 percent and attempted 41 3-pointers, making 17, but still had four players score in double figures.
Forward Carmelo Anthony led the way, finishing with 29 points, nine rebounds and four assists. He made nine of 29 shots. Forward J.R. Smith added 19 points on 7-of-23 shooting, including five of 17 from behind the arc. Forward Andrea Bargnani added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Point guard Beno Udrih had perhaps the best offensive night for the Knicks. Udrih, moved into the starting lineup because of injuries to Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni, scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He hit five of seven 3-point attempts against his former team.
"He did a great job," Woodson said. "Beno is more of a scoring point guard, which is fine with me, but he made some good decisions with the basketball and made some big shots when it counted."
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Smith and Bargnani gave the Knicks an 87-83 lead with 1:23 left in regulation.
Point guard Brandon Knight missed a chance to get Milwaukee (5-20) within a point when he missed a free throw that would have converted a three-point play. He scored a career-high 36 points, but only seven after the third quarter.
"It's just the flow of the game sometimes," Knight said. "I might score a little bit more some night or I have to pass a little more. With a lot of our scorers being out, the scoring had to be shifted elsewhere."
After the Knicks came up empty on their next possession, Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova drew a foul from center Tyson Chandler and hit both shots with 31.5 seconds left.
The Knicks again failed to convert as Udrih couldn't connect, giving Milwaukee a final chance with 19.2 seconds left. However, Bucks forwards John Henson and Khris Middleton missed shots, forcing overtime.
Udrih gave the Knicks a 94-92 lead midway through the first extra period, but neither team scored again until Henson's tip-in tied the game with 0.3 seconds left.
Anthony's chance at a buzzer-beater bounced off the rim, sending the game to a second overtime.
"It's challenging," said Bucks coach Larry Drew, who had just eight players available Wednesday. "I know a couple of our guys were gasping, but it's an opportunity to see what they're made of."
Henson and Middleton each finished with 20 points, and Ilyasova scored 11. Milwaukee rookie guard Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in his first career start.
"I was a little bit nervous, which I think is normal," Antetokounmpo said. "It's a new experience for me. I picked up two fouls that took me out of the game quick. I was hoping Coach would put me back into the game, and when he did, I played hard. The next game will be different."
Milwaukee lost its four game in a row and fell to 2-7 in the past nine.
NOTES: New York was without F Amar'e Stoudemire, who did not make the trip to Milwaukee in order to rest what coach Mike Woodson described as a swollen knee, and C Kenyon Martin, who is expected to miss the next two weeks with a sore abdominal muscle. ... Bucks G/F Giannis Antetokounmpo was in the starting lineup for the first time Wednesday, opening the game at shooting guard with usual starter O.J. Mayo attending his grandmother's funeral and reserve Gary Neal out with a foot injury. The No. 15 overall pick in the 2013 draft averaged 6.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists through his first 19 NBA games. At 19 years and 12 days old, he became the youngest starter in team history and the youngest league-wide since Andrew Bynum (19 years, four days) started the first game of his second NBA season on Oct. 31, 2006.