Knicks get out to big lead, need it to beat Bucks at MSG

Carmelo Anthony scores 24 points as the Knicks slip past the Bucks at the Garden on Sunday.Seth Wenig/AP

Carmelo Anthony scores 24 points as the Knicks slip past the Bucks at the Garden on Sunday.

The Knicks were all over the place in the end of the second quarter, one athletic play after another for a team that has often been labeled too slow or prodding.

Carmelo Anthony, 31, converted two lay-ups in transition. Jose Calderon, 34, picked up a steal, a one-handed slingshot assist, a rebound and a 3-pointer. Kristaps Porzingis, 20, dunked on 7-footer John Henson, then blocked Khris Middleton at the rim. Derrick Williams, 24, had a dunk set up by New York baiting the defense with five passes along the perimeter.

By the end of this run that lasted less than 4 ½ minutes, the Knicks went from a tied score to a 10-point advantage heading into the locker room at halftime. That was it, really. The Bucks never recovered in their 100-88 loss at the Garden, a game that represented another block party for Porzingis and another all-around gem from Anthony.

The Knicks (19-20) have won four of their last five games, with back-to-back games upcoming against the Celtics and dysfunctional Nets. They went unthreatened after halftime Sunday with a lead that ballooned to 22 against the Bucks (15-24), who didn’t have Jason Kidd on the sideline because the coach is recovering from hip surgery. The game completed the Bucks and Knicks season season series at 2-2. New York has also won three straight at the Garden.

Kristaps Porzingis scores 15 points including a late bank 3-pointer to help the Knicks to a win.Reid Kelley/NBAE/Getty Images

Kristaps Porzingis scores 15 points including a late bank 3-pointer to help the Knicks to a win.

Anthony finished with 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 10 rebounds and eight assists in 36 minutes, again coming close to his first triple-double of the season. Porzingis recorded five blocks, including one of the incredible chasedown variety on Middleton in the third quarter. He also had 15 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes.

Greg Monroe paced Milwaukee with 28 points and 10 boards.

The Knicks were coming off as positive loss as you can get in the NBA, a one-point defeat in the dungeon of San Antonio on Friday when Jose Calderon missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. Calderon has taken a lot of heat this season from fans who want another option at point guard, and New York has been kicking the tires on free agents Toure Murry and Tony Wroten.

Knicks guard Jose Calderon (r.) is pumped up.Seth Wenig/AP

Knicks guard Jose Calderon (r.) is pumped up.

Calderon responded Sunday with a solid effort – nine points and seven assists — not long after Derek Fisher defended his oldest player.

“Jose’s doing his job. I definitely can relate to his experience in terms of being in a system where the guard, the lead guard is not asked to do the same things that the point guard for other teams may be asked to do,” Fisher said. “So statistically, it might look like your’e not as capable of doing certain things on a given night and that’s frustrating, because you know you’re capable of doing it if you’re asked to do more. But the equalizer is winning. That’s basically what shuts people up. So if you lead your team to victory, score 2 points, I think that ultimately works out the best.”

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