Milwaukee Bucks

Knicks' Porzingis tears ACL, likely out for season

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Knicks' Porzingis tears ACL, likely out for season

NEW YORK -- Kristaps Porzingis' dunk wasn't spectacular, certainly nothing like Giannis Antetokounmpo jumping over Tim Hardaway Jr. for a slam.

But the moment he landed, punching the court in pain , the Knicks' playoff hopes had likely crumpled right along with him.

Porzingis tore the ACL in his left knee Tuesday night in the Knicks' 103-89 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. He is expected to be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Antetokounmpo scored 23 points, jumping over Hardaway for one high-flying slam after Porzingis had dunked over him earlier in the game.

Porzingis crashed to the ground after his dunk with 8:46 left in the second quarter and was taken for an MRI exam that revealed his injury.

"More than a basketball player, he's my brother," Knicks center Enes Kanter said. "I don't want to see anyone going down like that hurting his knee. He's about to be an All-Star. I'm just going to pray for him tonight. He is the most important part of our family."

"He is a big part of the things we do," said Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. "No one is going to feel sorry for you when your guys are out, so you have to step it up."

Horford showing he's a vital cog in Celtics' success

Horford showing he's a vital cog in Celtics' success

BOSTON – When you talk to NBA folks about Al Horford, they speak of his leadership and willingness to do whatever is required in order for his team to be successful.

Often that has meant sacrificing parts of his game because it was in the best interest of the team.

But as we get deeper and deeper into this season, it’s becoming clearer that the Celtics need the "no-holds-back" Al Horford who tends to fill up the stat sheet in several categories and maybe just as important, significantly impacts winning.

Monday’s matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks was one of those games, a game in which Horford once again flirted with a triple-double in helping lead Boston to a 111-100 win over the Bucks.


Horford continued to play at a highly efficient level, scoring 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting to go with nine rebounds and eight assists.

“He’s been really good,” said head coach Brad Stevens of Horford.

For the season, Horford is shooting 55.9 percent from the field along with connecting on a career-best 44.6 percent of his 3-pointers.

Horford's shooting touch has been red-hot lately, connecting on at least 53.3 percent of his shots from the field in each of Boston’s last five games.

“I think it’s just the work I’ve been putting in,” Horford said. “It’s starting to pay off for me.”

And the Celtics (21-4) who currently have the best record in the NBA.

As good as Boston has been thus far, players and coaches are unanimous in believing that they’ve only scratched the surface of this team’s potential.

And the play of Horford will have a lot to do with that growth.

“It’ll just continue to get better,” said Boston’s Kyrie Irving.

As far as Horford is concerned, Irving added, “He’s just shooting the right shots and being aggressive, and him getting more comfortable with where his shots are coming from and being able to adjust on the fly. We want to be aggressive and he knows that.”

And maybe more important, he’s showing it with his play that has been a vital cog in the Celtics’ success this season which has not only padded their win total but also brought about increased respect from foes.

“They are a really good team and from start to finish they play hard,” said Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo. “They play together so with a team like that, you have to be disciplined on defense and keep playing hard.”

Said Stevens: “He’s playing at a good level.”


Celtics beat Bucks 111-100 despite monster night from Antetokounmpo

Celtics beat Bucks 111-100 despite monster night from Antetokounmpo

BOSTON – Monday’s game between Boston and Milwaukee was billed as Greek night, which you would imagine had to make Giannis Antetokounmpo feel at home.

He had a monster night for the Milwaukee Bucks, finishing with 40 points on 14-for-24 shooting with nine rebounds and four assists.

The rest of his team?

Not so much.

And it was Boston’s balanced attack that paved the way for a 111-100 win. Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 32 points, with Al Horford chipping in a near triple-double (seems like he does this every other game, huh?) with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Boston (21-4) got double-figure scoring from Jayson Tatum (17 points) and Aron Baynes (10 points).

The Celtics’ defense certainly played a role in Milwaukee’s less-than-stellar play in the closing minutes.

But Boston also benefited from a Milwaukee team that looked fatigued, and that’s not a stretch considering the minutes logged by the Bucks’ core guys in the second half.

Milwaukee head coach Jason Kidd played four of his five starters for the entire third quarter, and used just one substitution off the bench.

In the same period, Boston used nine players with only one – Jayson Tatum – playing the entire third period.

Once they got around to the fourth, Boston simply made the necessary plays to maintain at least a three or four-possession lead as they added yet another victory to their league-best record which now stands at 21-4.

Tatum got the Celtics off to fast start, scoring 14 points in the first quarter alone. And Baynes, in the starting lineup primarily because of his defense, made the most of Milwaukee’s defense not paying him much attention, scoring eight points in the first quarter which ended with Boston ahead 34-26.

Irving went into “I got this” mode in the second quarter, finishing the first half with 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting.

Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo was dominant as ever, scoring on drives to the basket, lay-ups and a few dunks including a couple over Baynes.

Boston pulled ahead by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, only to see its lead on the cusp of being single digits again.

Eric Bledsoe, whose arrival has brought about much-improved play by the Bucks, drained a 3-pointer with 3:23 to play in the third that cut Boston’s lead to 81-72.

Another Celtics missed followed by a basket by Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon brought the Bucks within 81-74, only for a 3-point play by Irving that put the Celtics back ahead by double-digits.

But that sequence was in many ways symbolic of the kind of night that the Bucks had … good but not good enough.