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Bucks beat Knicks 115-102 to tie for sixth in East

NEW YORK (AP) If the easier road in the Eastern Conference is from seventh place instead of sixth, the Milwaukee Bucks aren't interested in taking it.

They know they aren't going to get the right playoff mindset by losing.

''If you have that mentality it kind of carries over to the postseason and you become a complacent basketball player,'' forward Jabari Parker said.

Eric Bledsoe had 22 points and 10 assists, and the Bucks moved into a tie for sixth place in the East with a 115-102 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.

Khris Middleton also scored 22 points for the Bucks, who joined Miami with a 43-37 record. The Heat were blown out by the Knicks at Madison Square Garden a night earlier but the Bucks avoided the same fate despite playing without All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo because of a sore right ankle.

The No. 6 seed would be looking at facing Philadelphia, which has won 13 straight games, or LeBron James and Cleveland. The team that ends up seventh draws a second-seeded Boston team that has lost All-Star guard Kyrie Irving for the season.

''They got a great a basketball team and a great coach,'' Bledsoe said. ''Obviously they're missing a couple of key players but at the same time they were playing well without those guys in the lineup.''

Parker made his second start of the season in Antetokounmpo's place and finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. John Henson had 15 points and 12 boards for the Bucks, who hoped to get point guard Malcolm Brogdon back but will have to wait a little longer as they try to become the dangerous team they think they can be.

''We know how good we can be and we've shown it,'' coach Joe Prunty said. ''We've shown it in games and over stretches of games, but similar to what we were talking about earlier, we have also had lulls or games where we haven't played as well as we'd like to or need to, and that's what we're trying to build on every day.''

Jarrett Jack scored 18 points and Kyle O'Quinn had 15 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and four blocks for the Knicks, who beat Miami 122-98 on Friday but fell short in their hopes of beating another playoff-bound team.

The Knicks were without Tim Hardaway Jr. (sprained left ankle), Enes Kanter (lower back, right wrist) and Emmanuel Mudiay (concussion). Michael Beasley started after leaving Friday's game with a bruised left knee.

Jack was the starter earlier in the season before falling out of the rotation entirely while the Knicks turned to young guards Trey Burke, Frank Ntilikina and Mudiay.

''The job is 82 games,'' Jack said. ''If you're not in, you cheer for everybody else. But if he calls your number, be ready to come in there and be ready to come in there and contribute as best you can.''

The game was close most of the way until the Bucks, trailing by one, took control with a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter. Middleton's basket gave Milwaukee the lead for good, Tony Snell and Parker made 3-pointers, and Bledsoe made four free throws as the Bucks surged to a 106-95 advantage with 2:17 to play.

Snell left a little more than five minutes into the game when he turned an ankle when he stepped on a teammate's foot while chasing a Knicks player around a screen. He returned in the second quarter and had 10 points.

TIP-INS

Bucks: Prunty said Brogdon (left quad) was evaluated Saturday and it was determined he wasn't ready to go. The Bucks hope last season's Rookie of the Year can play Monday. ... Parker had averaged 20 points in his last three games.

Knicks: Coach Jeff Hornacek said he expected that Kanter and Hardaway would play again this season if healthy, refusing to rule them out for the final two games. ''Those guys are all competitors and that's what we like about them,'' Hornacek said. ... Knicks starters had no turnovers in the first half and the team had just two total, both by Luke Kornet.

CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

The Knicks held Latvian heritage night in celebration of Latvia's 100th anniversary. The New York Latvian Concert Choir sang the national anthem and Latvia President Raimond Vejonis was presented with a personalized jersey by Knicks All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, who is from Latvia.

UP NEXT

Bucks: Host Orlando on Monday.

Knicks: Host Cleveland on Monday.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
K. Middleton
22 SF
T. Burke
23 PG
20.5 Min. Per Game 20.5
12.8 Pts. Per Game 12.8
4.4 Ast. Per Game 4.4
1.9 Reb. Per Game 1.9
46.8 Field Goal % 50.7
46.9 Three Point % 51.4
88.3 Free Throw % 64.2
  Defensive rebound by Jabari Parker 0:11
  Kyle O'Quinn missed reverse layup 0:12
+ 2 Khris Middleton made dunk, assist by Eric Bledsoe 0:30
  Defensive rebound by John Henson 0:44
  Kyle O'Quinn missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:47
+ 2 Jabari Parker made driving dunk, assist by Khris Middleton 0:51
+ 3 Courtney Lee made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Trey Burke 1:05
+ 2 Khris Middleton made driving dunk, assist by John Henson 1:09
+ 2 Michael Beasley made driving layup 1:18
+ 3 Eric Bledsoe made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jabari Parker 1:33
+ 2 Kyle O'Quinn made layup, assist by Frank Ntilikina 1:54
Team Stats
Points 115 102
Field Goals 45-93 (48.4%) 41-93 (44.1%)
3-Pointers 10-25 (40.0%) 9-21 (42.9%)
Free Throws 15-17 (88.2%) 11-11 (100.0%)
Total Rebounds 54 48
Offensive 12 12
Defensive 36 31
Team 6 5
Assists 30 30
Steals 6 3
Blocks 9 7
Turnovers 10 8
Fouls 13 17
Technicals 0 1
22 PTS, 3 REB, 10 AST
15 PTS, 16 REB, 5 AST
1234T
away team logo Bucks 43-37 31222735115
home team logo Knicks 28-52 28272225102
Team Stats
away team logo Bucks 43-37 101.9 PPG 38.6 RPG 22.0 APG
home team logo Knicks 28-52 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
E. Bledsoe PG 17.8 PPG 3.9 RPG 5.1 APG 47.6 FG%
J. Jack PG PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
E. Bledsoe PG 22 PTS 3 REB 10 AST
J. Jack PG 18 PTS 5 REB 7 AST
48.4 FG% 44.1
40.0 3PT FG% 42.9
88.2 FT% 100.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
E. Bledsoe 31 22 3 10 1 1 1 4 7/9 2/3 6/7 1 2 46 +15
K. Middleton 36 22 6 4 0 1 2 0 8/22 0/3 6/6 1 5 35 +17
J. Parker 37 16 12 5 1 0 2 0 7/15 2/3 0/0 2 10 37 +13
J. Henson 30 15 12 1 0 3 0 2 7/13 0/0 1/2 3 9 32 +6
T. Snell 30 10 4 3 0 2 0 1 4/9 2/6 0/0 0 4 22 +3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
E. Bledsoe 31 22 3 10 1 1 1 4 7/9 2/3 6/7 1 2 46 +15
K. Middleton 36 22 6 4 0 1 2 0 8/22 0/3 6/6 1 5 35 +17
J. Parker 37 16 12 5 1 0 2 0 7/15 2/3 0/0 2 10 37 +13
J. Henson 30 15 12 1 0 3 0 2 7/13 0/0 1/2 3 9 32 +6
T. Snell 30 10 4 3 0 2 0 1 4/9 2/6 0/0 0 4 22 +3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Terry 22 9 0 1 3 0 1 0 3/7 3/6 0/0 0 0 13 +14
B. Jennings 16 8 4 4 1 0 2 0 4/8 0/1 0/0 1 3 19 -2
T. Zeller 17 8 5 2 0 1 1 4 4/4 0/0 0/0 3 2 17 +7
T. Maker 17 5 2 0 0 1 1 2 1/6 1/3 2/2 1 1 7 -8
M. Brogdon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Antetokounmpo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Muhammad - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Dellavedova - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
X. Munford - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Plumlee - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Wilson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 115 48 30 6 9 10 13 45/93 10/25 15/17 12 36 228 +65
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. O'Quinn 29 15 16 5 0 4 1 1 6/12 1/2 2/2 8 8 44 -12
C. Lee 27 14 4 0 0 0 0 1 6/11 2/3 0/0 0 4 18 -19
M. Beasley 23 13 6 2 0 1 0 0 5/14 1/4 2/2 2 4 24 -18
T. Burke 30 8 4 8 0 0 2 1 3/13 0/2 2/2 1 3 26 -12
F. Ntilikina 30 7 2 4 0 0 0 2 3/7 1/2 0/0 0 2 17 -6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. O'Quinn 29 15 16 5 0 4 1 1 6/12 1/2 2/2 8 8 44 -12
C. Lee 27 14 4 0 0 0 0 1 6/11 2/3 0/0 0 4 18 -19
M. Beasley 23 13 6 2 0 1 0 0 5/14 1/4 2/2 2 4 24 -18
T. Burke 30 8 4 8 0 0 2 1 3/13 0/2 2/2 1 3 26 -12
F. Ntilikina 30 7 2 4 0 0 0 2 3/7 1/2 0/0 0 2 17 -6
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Jack 25 18 5 7 0 0 1 0 7/14 1/3 3/3 0 5 36 0
D. Dotson 29 11 3 2 3 0 0 3 5/8 1/2 0/0 1 2 21 -2
I. Hicks 16 8 0 2 0 1 1 5 4/8 0/0 0/0 0 0 12 -1
L. Kornet 18 8 2 0 0 1 3 3 2/4 2/3 2/2 0 2 8 -1
L. Thomas 8 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 1 1 +6
J. Noah - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Kanter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Hardaway Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Porzingis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Mudiay - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Baker - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 102 43 30 3 7 8 17 41/93 9/21 11/11 12 31 207 -65