MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo made a driving layup with 1.9 seconds remaining after Jabari Parker chipped in with 12 points in his first game in nearly a year, lifting the Milwaukee Bucks over the New York Knicks 92-90 on Friday night.
Antetokounmpo, who sprained his left ankle late in Thursday night’s loss to Minnesota, showed no ill effects and led all scorers with 29 points.
Parker hadn’t played since tearing his left ACL on Feb. 8, 2017, in a game against Miami. He made 4 of 7 shots over nearly 15 minutes as a reserve.
Enes Kanter had 17 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Knicks, who were coming off a 103-73 loss to Boston on Wednesday night. Kristaps Porzingis also had 17 points.
Entering the fourth quarter tied at 74, the Bucks and Knicks continued their seesaw battle with neither team able to pull away. A layup by Antetokounmpo tied it at 90 with about two minutes remaining. After Tim Hardaway Jr. missed a pair of free throws for New York, Antetokounmpo failed to connect on a step-back jumper with 41.8 seconds left. After Kanter missed a layup, Antetokounmpo drove from the top of the key and made a spinning left-handed layup with 1.9 seconds remaining. After a Knicks timeout, Hardaway Jr. missed a desperation jumper at the horn.
The teams were tied at 55 at the half. Milwaukee got 13 points from Antetokounmpo and 12 from Parker, who played nearly 10 minutes in the first half. Kanter had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Milwaukee got a much-needed spark from Parker in the first quarter. He scored seven points in just more than five minutes of action to help pull the Bucks within one point at the end of the quarter.
PLENTY OF PARKER
Parker’s return comes at a critical juncture of the season, with the trade deadline looming next week and Milwaukee in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff race. He entered the game with 5:25 remaining in the first quarter, replacing Antetokounmpo. He scored his first basket on a jumper from the right baseline a little more than one minute later.
The second overall pick of the 2014 draft out of Duke averaged career highs of 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds in 51 games last year before the injury. Parker tore the same ACL in December 2014, halting his rookie campaign after 25 games.
“He’s one of my best friends. I’m just happy to see him playing,” said Knicks forward Michael Beasley, who was Parker’s teammate in Milwaukee.
Knicks: Referees halted the game briefly in the first quarter so that Porzingis could be treated for a cut to his lip. … New York made 2 of 13 from deep in the first half. Porzingis and Hardaway Jr. were a combined 1 for 8. … The Knicks have played 16 of their last 20 games on the road. … Porzingis and Milwaukee’s Sterling Brown were whistled for a double technical foul midway through the fourth.
Bucks: G Malcolm Brogdon is expected to miss six to eight weeks after being diagnosed with a partially torn left quadriceps tendon. Brogdon sustained the injury in the second quarter of Thursday night’s game at Minnesota after a dunk and had to be helped off the court. “Finding out that he’s going to be out for a couple of months kind of shocked me. Shocked all of us,” teammate D.J. Wilson said. … G Eric Bledsoe, who missed Thursday’s game and played just three minutes Monday due to left ankle soreness, returned to action.
Knicks: Host Atlanta on Sunday in the last of three regular-season meetings this season.
Bucks: At Brooklyn on Sunday. Milwaukee defeated the Nets 116-91 on Jan. 26.