Carmelo Anthony recorded his third straight game of 40 or more points, and the New York Knicks earned their 11th consecutive victory by putting forth a huge second half to register a 101-83 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden.
After racking up 50 points at Miami on Tuesday and 40 in a triumph at Atlanta the following night, Anthony put up 41 on a sizzling 17-of-28 shooting and added a game-high 14 rebounds. Eighteen of Anthony's points came during a third quarter in which the Knicks shot 79 percent from the field and outscored the Bucks by a whopping 42-21 margin.
Anthony tied a franchise record with his third straight 40-point contest, equaling the mark by Bernard King.
"It's a great class to be a part of," Anthony said. "It's a great honor."
J.R. Smith had a huge night as well for New York, which hasn't lost since a 93-80 setback at the Los Angeles Clippers on March 17. The Knicks' sixth man came through with 30 points while grabbing 10 rebounds to help his team overcome an early 10-point deficit.
The Knicks also increased their lead over Indiana for the second playoff seed in the Eastern Conference to 1 1/2 games after the Pacers lost to Oklahoma City on Friday.
Brandon Jennings led the slumping Bucks, losers in seven of their last nine outings, with 25 points. J.J. Redick netted 18 points in the setback, with Larry Sanders scoring nine to go along with 12 rebounds.
New York sputtered offensively early on, shooting an off-target 34.1 percent for the first half and trailing by a 45-36 count at the break.
The third quarter was an entirely different story, however.
Still down by nine early in the period, the Knicks embarked on a 25-2 run to completely change the momentum. Anthony had 10 points during the surge and Smith dropped in 12 on four successful baskets from beyond the arc, the last of which stretched New York's lead to 73-59 with 15 minutes left to play.
"Those guys were knocking down threes after threes," Jennings said of the Knicks.
Milwaukee countered with a 7-0 spurt to cut its deficit in half, and got as close as six down after Redick buried a 3-pointer with 4:39 left to make the score 87-81 in New York's favor.
Anthony then scored on each of the Knicks' next four possessions in keying an 11-0 flurry that concluded with Smith's steal and layup with 1:17 to go, with the bucket staking New York to a 98-81 advantage and ending any Milwaukee comeback hopes.
Both offenses struggled during a first period that ended in a 19-19 deadlock, but Redick drained a pair of triples during an 11-2 sequence that put the Bucks ahead 40-30 three minutes prior to intermission.
The Knicks played without forward Kenyon Martin, held out after injuring his knee in Wednesday's win at Atlanta ... New York won all three meetings between the teams this season, earning its first season sweep of the Bucks since 1999-2000 ... Milwaukee has now dropped five straight on the road by an average of 14.2 points ... The Knicks finished with a 50-40 rebounding advantage.