Knight, acquired in a summer trade that sent point guard Brandon
Jennings to Detroit, continues to establish himself as a
building-block player for the rebuilding Bucks, often serving as an
offensive and tempo-setting weapon.
He showed that again Monday when he scored nine of his game-high 24
points in a 90-second stretch to open the fourth quarter as
Milwaukee erased what had been an 18-point deficit and held on for a
105-98 victory over the Orlando Magic at the BMO Harris Bradley
"He's definitely [our motor], particularly when he's aggressive and
attacking," Bucks coach Larry Drew said. "Not necessarily scoring,
but when he's attacking because that forces the defense to collapse.
"His energy is really high so when you get a guy like that, you kind
of have to feed off it."
Knight got off to a somewhat shaky start, missing seven of 11 shots
in the first half as the Bucks fell behind by 18 points before
closing to within six at the break.
The Bucks missed their first seven shots of the third quarter before
going on a 15-4 run that made it a 63-60 game after Knight's layup
with 3:56 left in the quarter. After three quarters, Orlando led
Knight sank two free throws, then added a layup with 11:21 remaining
to give the Bucks their first lead since the first quarter.
"It started with his penetration and ability to get to the rim,"
Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. "Give him credit for putting his
head down and getting to the rim."
Guard Ramon Sessions forced Magic guard E'Twaun Moore into a
turnover and found Knight for an easy dunk to give Milwaukee a
Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo grabbed a defensive rebound,
then found forward Khris Middleton, who kicked it out to Knight for
a 3-pointer from the right wing. The basket put the Bucks ahead
77-71 with 10:30to play.
"I just wanted to come out and be aggressive," said Knight, who has
scored in double figures in a career-high 18 consecutive games. "I
know I missed a lot of easy ones early but my teammates put me in a
great position to attack the basket."
Along with Knight, Middleton had a big fourth quarter, hitting three
3-pointers and making four from the free throw line in the final 30
seconds to finish with 21 points — 13 of them coming in the fourth
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"Shooters got to keep shooting no matter what," said Middleton,
who was 2-of-9 from the field through three quarters. "That's what
coaches kept telling me, my teammates kept telling me. Eventually
the shot will fall if you are confident enough to keep shooting."
Orlando (19-46) shot 49 percent and made 7-of-16 3-pointers through
the first three quarters but went 10-for-24 from the field and
missed 5-of-7 long-distance attempts in the fourth.
Forward Maurice Harkless led the Magic with 14 points, and point
guard Jameer Nelson added 13 points and seven assists. Center Nikola
Vucevic and guards Victor Oladipo and Arron Afflalo each scored 12
for the Magic.
Forward Tobias Harris got Orlando off to a good start, hitting
5-of-7 from the field for 11 points in the first half. Afflalo made
4-of-7 and had 10 first-half points. The Magic held Milwaukee to 40
percent shooting and went into halftime up 51-45.
"The best thing is that for a quarter and a half, we were pretty
good," Vaughn said. "The challenge is there for each individual to
kind of take a little snapshot of the game and see what we did well
for that quarter and a half.
"We have to continue to play that way and hopefully continue to look
at those good things moving forward."
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Bucks, who
also earned a split in the season series with Orlando, which has now
dropped three in a row and is an NBA-worst 4-30 on the road this
NOTES: Rookie G Victor Oladipo returned to the Orlando lineup after
missing two games with an injured left ankle. ... The Bucks made 21
free throws and are averaging 20.5 makes over their last 11 games.
... F Tobias Harris had 11 points and eight rebounds against the
Bucks, who traded him to Orlando last February. In five career games
against Milwaukee, Harris is averaging 17.8 points, 10.0 rebounds
and 1.8 assists.
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