by Jonah Ballow

8:00 PM ET | BMO Harris Bradley Center
TV:  MSG Network
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

1.  On Wednesday night, the Celtics imposed their will in the fourth quarter by limiting the Knicks to just eight points in the fourth quarter and 28 in the second half.  The league’s best defense was on display in the 103-73 victory for Boston as it improved to 37-15 on the season.  In the second of a back-to-back, New York battled the Celtics in the first half and only trailed by five points heading into the third quarter.  With the victory, Boston now owns a 2-1 season series advantage and the final matchup is set for February 24 at Madison Square Garden.

2.  Enes Kanter is on a tear of late with three consecutive double-double performances while averaging 18.6 points and 12.6 rebounds over his last five outings.  The big man is also incredibly efficient from the floor by hitting 69.1 percent during this recent five-game stretch.  Kanter ranks fourth in the NBA in field goal percentage, trailing Steven Adams, Clint Capela, and DeAndre Jordan.  Out of those four players, Kanter attempts the most shots at 9.9 per game.   

3.  In the Boston game, Kanter suffered a lip laceration and it was re-stitched.  He returned to the game and is expected to be available for tonight’s contest in Milwaukee.  Ron Baker did not travel with the team after an MRI revealed a shoulder dislocation and torn labrum.  The point guard is out indefinitely.

4.  Over the past couple of years, the Bucks have remained consistent from a front office and roster perspective.  This season, significant changes have occurred in Milwaukee.  General manager John Hammond departed to the Orlando Magic, the team traded Greg Monroe and multiple draft picks for Eric Bledsoe, and Jason Kidd was fired on January 22.  Interim head coach, Joe Prunty replaced Kidd at the helm while the team attempts to move into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.  At 27-23 overall and in seventh place in the latest Eastern Conference standings, the Bucks have won four of their last five before a 108-89 defeat to the Timberwolves last night.

5.  Milwaukee enters tonight’s contest with some injuries issues.  Bledsoe was held out of the game against the Timberwolves with a sore left ankle, Giannis Antetokounmpo twisted his left ankle in the fourth quarter in Minnesota, and Malcolm Brogdon was forced to leave last night’s contest due to a left quad tendon strain.  On the flip side, Jabari Parker is expected to return tonight for the first time since an ACL tear ended his 2016-17 season last February.  Parker told reporters the Bucks staff is targeting about 15 minutes for his debut.