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(Wednesday, December 18th)
Final Score: New York 107, Milwaukee 101 (2-OT)
Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrea Bargnani can breathe a sigh of relief after the New York Knicks survived the Milwaukee Bucks, 107-101, in two overtimes on Wednesday.
Bargnani made a head-scratching decision to shoot a 3-pointer with the Knicks ahead by two and time winding down in the first overtime.
The Knicks' bench almost universally threw their hands in the air in disbelief as the shot drew iron, and John Henson sent the game to an extra five minutes with a tip-in at the other end.
Carmelo Anthony, though, made the error moot, scoring eight of his 29 points in the second OT to send the Knicks to their third win in the past five games.
Beno Udrih and J.R. Smith contributed 21 and 19 points, respectively, for New York, which welcomed Tyson Chandler back to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 5.
"It's good to have Tyson back. He played 36 minutes. I was hoping to keep him in the high 20s, but I just couldn't do it because of the overtimes," said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson of Chandler, who finished with nine points and nine boards.
The already-shorthanded Bucks, who were without O.J. Mayo for undisclosed personal reasons, received just four points from their limited bench. Brandon Knight played nearly 50 minutes and totaled 36 points and nine rebounds but committed eight of Milwaukee's 22 turnovers.
Milwaukee is just 3-18 since splitting its first four games of the season.
"The margin of error is small with this team," Bucks head coach Larry Drew said. "I thought from a mental standpoint we wore down."
Udrih connected on a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:49 remaining in the first overtime, and Chandler, who missed 20 games after suffering a small non- displaced fracture in his leg, was instrumental in four consecutive empty Bucks possessions to keep the Knicks on top, 94-92.
Chandler won a jump ball against Knight with 38.7 seconds to go, then grabbed what should have been a game-sealing offensive rebound off an Anthony miss. As he was falling out of bounds, the center kicked the ball back to an open Bargnani, who could have dribbled away several seconds while waiting to be fouled along the perimeter.
Instead, Bargnani fired up an ill-advised 3-point try and missed, and the Bucks were gifted with another possession with 11.3 seconds on the clock.
"I don't know if (Bargnani) thought we were down...but obviously he had something else going on in his mind at the time," Woodson said.
Chandler forced a tough up-and-under from Knight that fell off the rim, but because Chandler switched his defensive responsibility, Henson was there for the tip-in with just three-tenths of a second showing.
A Smith jumper early in the second overtime put the Knicks on top to stay, and Anthony added two successful trips to the free throw line around a back- breaking 3-pointer to send New York to a seventh straight win over the Bucks.
Milwaukee shot 2-for-8 from the field over the final five minutes.
New York led by as many as nine in the second quarter, but the Bucks ended the half on an 11-3 run to pull within a point, 45-44.
A back-and-forth third ended with the Knicks clinging to a 68-66 edge. There were a total 19 lead changes and 11 ties in the third and fourth quarters.
Both teams missed opportunities to break an 87-87 tie in the final minute of regulation. After Udrih was too strong on a baseline runner, the Bucks were short on a pair of potential game winners, as Henson and Khris Middleton missed from the left wing -- the latter's coming just before the buzzer sounded.
Anthony shot 9-of-29 from the field ... The Bucks outscored the Knicks at the free throw line, 25-14 ... Udrih made five of New York's 17 3-pointers ... The Bucks have lost five in a row at home ... Henson finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds and Middleton added 20 and nine in the setback.
12/19 00:53:22 ET