WHAT IT MEANS: The Knicks lost their fourth straight game on Friday and are losing their grip on the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
They dropped all four games on this road trip and are 1-4 after the All-Star break, losing all of their momentum from a seven-game winning streak in mid-February. New York is in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and leads Milwaukee by just two games after winning just three of its last 10.
THE BAD: For the second straight game, the Knicks sorely missed Tyson Chandler on defense. They allowed Milwaukee to hit 48 percent of its shots, including 13 of 26 from beyond the arc. Milwaukee entered the night ranked 19th in the NBA in 3-point shooting. The Knicks were outrebounded 39-34 and 17-9 on the offensive glass.
A bad sign for the Knicks on defense? They hit their first 11 shots from the field but still trailed by two at the end of the first quarter. They also let an 11-point first-half lead slip away.
SHOOTING BLANKS: The Knicks haven't gotten much production out of their starting shooting guards this week. Landry Fields had four points against Dallas on Tuesday and Iman Shumpert had two points against San Antonio on Wednesday. Starting on Friday, J.R. Smith had just three points. Shumpert, by the way, played just five minutes against the Bucks.
Fields, back in the starting lineup at small forward, scored 18 points.
BOLD PLAY OF THE GAME: Knicks killer Brandon Jennings took a steal, dribbled across half court, spun on Baron Davis and finished with a layup to give Milwaukee a 15-point lead with 7:28 to play. The Knicks got to within one, but never were able to take the lead.
THE GOOD: Amare Stoudemire didn't give New York much on defense, but he took advantage of his opportunities as the primary screener on the pick and roll to finish with 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting. He also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Jeremy Lin had a strong game after struggling in his last three. Lin had 20 points and 13 assists but turned the ball over five times. He and Davis were in the backcourt together as the Knicks climbed back from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit, cutting the lead to one. Davis had nine points and nine assists.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks return home to take on Atlantic Division foe Philadelphia at noon Sunday.