New York Knicks vs Milwaukee Bucks: Lineups, preview & prediction 3/9/18

The Milwaukee Bucks look to take advantage of a soft patch of their schedule starting Friday night at home against the struggling New York Knicks.

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Milwaukee (34-31) have slipped to eighth in the Eastern Conference behind Miami by virtue of losing the head-to-head tiebreaker. While the Bucks have a comfortable five-game cushion on Detroit for the final playoff spot with 17 games remaining, they have lost six of their last seven after a 110-99 defeat to the streaking Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points and Khris Middleton added 18, 12 rebounds and five assists, but the Bucks were nine of 28 from 3-point range and allowed the Rockets to score 22 points in transition. That was partly because Milwaukee could not keep up with Houston despite utilizing a “small-ball” lineup that featured Antetokounmpo at the center spot.

The Knicks (23-41) have been playing out the string ever since losing All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis to a torn ACL the last time these teams met February 6 and have lost five straight and 13 of 14 overall. New York fell to 0-3 on their four-game road swing after being run out of Portland 111-87 on Tuesday night.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 points and Enes Kanter chipped in 18 and 13 rebounds, but the Knicks were torched for eight 3-pointers by Damian Lillard and 20 overall by the Trail Blazers, who shot a blistering 60.6 percent from beyond the arc.

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