by Jonah Ballow

7:30 PM ET | Madison Square Garden
TV:  MSG Network
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

1.  On Sunday afternoon, the Hawks battled back from a six-point deficit to upend the Knicks on their home floor, 99-96.  Kent Bazemore hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 6.7 seconds remaining in the game to provide Atlanta with the season series clincher.  Despite the defeat, New York owned advantages in points in the paint (40-34), second chance points (16-10), and on the glass (48-44).  The game featured nine lead changes and 14 times it was tied in the third and final meeting between the two teams this season.

2.  Kristaps Porzingis posted 22 points, eight rebounds, and five blocks in Sunday’s contest.  The All-Star compiled those statistics for the eighth time in his career, which is the seventh most by a player through age-22 since 1983.  Porzingis also recorded a block in a career-high 22 games and this is the longest current streak in the NBA.    

3. The Knicks have made some strides on the defensive side of the floor as they have limited teams to an average of 97.3 points per game over their last four outings.  New York held those four opponents to 43.2 percent shooting from the floor.

4.  Just three days ago, the Knicks and Bucks tangled for the first time this season.  Milwaukee managed to secure a 92-90 home win behind the heroics of Giannis Antetokounmpo in the final seconds of regulation.  Antetokounmpo connected on a spinning layup past Enes Kanter Porzingis with 1.9 seconds remaining in the contest.  Tim Hardaway Jr.’s last second shot misfired and the Bucks notched a 92-90 home victory.  Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 29 points and he snatched a team-high 11 rebounds.  On the other side of the floor, Kanter was spectacular with 17 points and 18 boards in 31 minutes of court time.

5.  Milwaukee enters tonight’s game with momentum on its side.  The Bucks have won six of their last seven games and the return of the former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker has ignited their offense.  From a statistical perspective, the Knicks match-up well against Milwaukee and they should have some confidence from the close contest on February 3.  The Bucks are an efficient shooting team and defensively, they generate a significant number of steals, which lead to points off of turnovers.  Following tonight’s game, the two teams will square off twice over the next two months.