The New York Knicks nearly upset the odds on Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. Julius Randle led a furious first-half charge for the Knicks that saw them trail a powerhouse Milwaukee side by just three points at halftime.
The Bucks, however, used a huge run to open the second half to create some much-needed separation against a testy New York side. Milwaukee did not look back from there on out.
Milwaukee Bucks Coach Speaks Out on Key Run
Giannis Antetokounmpo took over in the second half, leading the Bucks on both ends of the floor. The former back-to-back MVP scored 13 out of his 35 points in the third period as Milwaukee outscored the Knicks 37-24 in the quarter.
After the game, head coach Adrian Griffin highlighted his team’s strong start to the third quarter as a critical juncture in the contest:
“I think just coming out that first five minutes was crucial,” Griffin said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “They’re a very good team. I think at halftime one of the emphasis was just defending without fouling, moving our feet, protecting the three-point line, let Brook (Lopez) be Brook. We were able to do that to start the half and we kind of didn’t look back after that.”
He could not have put that any better.
Malik Beasley Echoes Griffin’s Sentiments
Bucks shooting guard Malik Beasley also sounded off on his team’s major difference in the first and second halves. The veteran acknowledged their deficiencies in the opening half, which they aptly corrected after the break.
“We came in at halftime and talked about our defensive structure and making sure we stay home and not foul,” Beasley said. “They got a bunch of layups and free throws (in the first half). Once we stopped fouling it was way easier and we got in a rhythm.”
The players did their bit to carry the Bucks to victory, but a lot of credit also has to go to Griffin and his coaching staff for their mid-game adjustments.
It was a total team effort throughout.
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