Mar. 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks small forward Mike Dunleavy (17) reacts during the first half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Stopped Cold: New York Knicks 89, Milwaukee Bucks 80

In the pivotal third quarter that decided this game, the New York Knicks hit 3-of-21 field goals (14.3%) and turned the ball over four times.

They also outscored the Bucks by nine points.  It was that kind of ugly loss for Milwaukee tonight.

How did the Knicks outscore Milwaukee, 21-12, to reverse a halftime deficit and take control of the game?  New York crashed the offensive glass for ten offensive rebounds in the third quarter alone. In the same period, the Bucks themselves only snagged seven defensive rebounds.  The Knicks used those second-chance opportunities to create contact and the resulting 12-minute free-throw parade (15-18 FT, 10-10 by Carmelo Anthony) gave them a lead that they would not relinquish.

Carmelo Anthony had 28 points and 12 rebounds, while Tyson Chandler chipped in with 13 points, nine rebounds, and countless back-taps to keep rebounds alive.  Baron Davis, replacing the injured Jeremy Lin at point guard, had 13 points and seven assists, but he also turned the ball over nine times.  He appeared fatigued in the second half, and Brandon Jennings hounded him on defense late in the game, but the Bucks shot so poorly that the extra possessions did not help.  Amare Stoudemire also missed the game with a bulging disk.

The loss ruined an astounding first-half by Mike Dunleavy.  Dunleavy blistered New York with 24 points in the first half, while missing only a single shot. The Knicks caught on, and Dunleavy only attempted four shots in the second half.

MVP: Mike Dunleavy

Dunleavy scored 26 points.  On a night when every other Bucks player fell apart, his first-half spurt provided enough points to keep them competitive until the final moments of the game.

At the end of the first period, Dunleavy had 15 points on five shots in four minutes.  Included was this gem of a four-point play:

Dunleavy was the first one out of the locker room for warmups in the second half — trying to hold on to a hot streak.  Carlos Delfino left the game in the first half with a groin injury, so Scott Skiles had a tailor-made spot for Mike in his second-half starting lineup (if only for one half of one game).  He didn’t use it.

LVP: Monta Ellis and Ersan Ilyasova

The Bucks really could have used a solid rebounding game from Ersan in the third quarter when the Knicks started winning with their ‘chuck-and-seek’ offense.  He was largely absent in both that quarter and in the game overall.  He finished with zero defensive rebounds in over 19 minutes.

For the third straight game, the play of Monta Ellis has been an anchor — and not in a good way.  The Bucks and their sinking offense needed points from someone other than Dunleavy, and they did not get them.  The Bucks not named Mike shot a combined 30% for the game.  Ellis 2-for-14 night went a long way toward that end.

Ellis doesn’t look comfortable and he doesn’t look like a good pairing with Brandon Jennings yet.  (And there’s the optimist in me.  ‘Yet.’ Maybe I should delete that part.)

This should ameliorate you:  Baby steps for Ekpe and his offense

Udoh had a nice, but not great third quarter.  He scored six of the 12 points that the Bucks mustered.  He also helped stem the bleeding by grabbing a few rebounds near the end of the quarter.  But most noticeable was the way in which he scored his three buckets.

For the first one, he got a pass from Dunleavy on a roll to the hoop.  He caught Chandler on a head fake, took a sidestep dribble to the other side of the rim and put in a layup — a very polished move.

On the second basket, he drove left at the top of the lane, spun all the way around right, and dropped in a hook shot from seven feet.  For the third one, he poked away a steal on one end, while cleaning up a Monta missed layup with a tip-in on the other.

If tonight is any indication, the Bogut trade dividends may be one-sided.

This should worry you: Backcourt disaster

8-for-36.  When this trade went down, everyone — myself included — was warned.  They will take a lot of shots, and they will miss in bunches.

Tweets of the Night:

@ESPNStatsInfoMike Dunleavy scored 24 1st-half points off the bench for the Bucks, the most for a non-starter in the NBA this season.

@jgriffo31:  Monta Ellis having a milk carton kind of game.

@alanhahn:  Mike Dunleavy looking like Kiki Vandeweghe.

@StevevonHorn:  When the Bucks enter negotiations with Ersan’s agent, he’ll bring up his 29 pt, 25 reb game against the Nets. They can counter with this one.

@BKBarrister:  Toney Douglas really couldn’t spell Baron tonight for 5 minutes? Baron’s about to pass out.

Final verdict: Maybe the Bucks need that lottery pick they’re earning?

Yes, yes, they do.

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Tags: Carmelo Anthony Mike Dunleavy Milwaukee Bucks Monta Ellis New York Knicks Tyson Chandler

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