İlyasova double-double not enough for Bucks
MILWAUKEE / NEW YORK
Memphis Grizzlies’ O.J. Mayo (32) has his shot blocked by Milwaukee Bucks’ Turkish forward Ersan İlyasova during the first half of an NBA game in Milwaukee. AP photoThe Milwaukee Bucks have put their chances of grabbing the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference at risk after falling 2.5 wins behind the New York Knicks.
Turkish forward Ersan İlyasova produced his second double-double in two days but the Milwaukee Bucks lost by four points, 99-95, to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, while the New York Knicks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 91-75.
O.J. Mayo came in off the bench and scored a season-high 24 points, and Rudy Gay added 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol added 13 points and 14 rebounds for Memphis, which is in the midst of playing seven games in nine days.
Brandon Jennings scored 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting for Milwaukee and İlyasova added 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Bucks, who were coming off a 37-point victory at Cleveland on Friday -- their largest margin of victory since Feb. 20, 2002.
not only was it frustrating for Milwaukee to respond this way, but New York also won to drop the Bucks 2.5 games behind the Knicks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“The fact that we come off a big win like that against the Cavs, then tonight we just let one get away from us,” Jennings said. “With 14 games left, it seems like we’re going to have to have a sense of urgency, which means we have to go into every game and play every 48 minutes like it’s our last.”
Knicks lose ‘Linsanity’
In New York, Jeremy Lin’s astonishing break-out campaign with the New York Knicks has been cut short by a left knee injury that needs surgery, the team said.
The Knicks said that Lin would be sidelined some six weeks “after an MRI revealed a small chronic meniscus tear” for which he will undergo an arthroscopic procedure.
That would have him missing the rest of the NBA regular season, which ends on April 26, and perhaps the first round of the playoffs -- if indeed the Knicks reach the postseason.
The Knicks, who beat Cleveland 91-75 on Saturday, are holding on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“We’ve got to go on,” interim coach Mike Woodson said. “He’s a big piece to our puzzle and what we were doing as of late, before he went out.” Lin’s knee isn’t Woodson’s only injury concern. Forward Amare Stoudemire is currently sidelined by a bulging disk in his lower back.
“When I come back I’ll be stronger than I ever was and a better player,” Lin vowed at a press conference prior to the game against the Cavaliers.
However, he added that it was a bitter blow to be sidelined as the lockout-shortened season draws to a close.
“This happening now hurts,” Lin said. “All the players, we really put our heart and soul into the team and into the season, and to not be there at the end when it really matters most, is hard.” The 23-year-old Lin was an NBA unknown when he shot to prominence in February, getting the starting nod from then-coach Mike D’Antoni and energizing a flagging Knicks team.
Lin, who graduated from academically oriented Harvard University, rather than one of America’s college basketball powerhouses, was cut by two NBA clubs before getting his chance with the Knicks.
He produced the most points and assists of any NBA player in their first 10 starts since 1976.