The New York Knicks feel a narrow defeat against a team that has been unstoppable at home won't take away from their recent turnaround.
New York, though, isn't likely to have it easy with the Milwaukee Bucks coming to town.
As they look to bounce back with their fifth win in seven games, the Knicks will try to contain Khris Middleton and avoid a third straight loss in this season series on Sunday night.
Since averaging 93 points while allowing 103.8 during its third four-game losing streak of the season, New York has scored 100.7 and given up 98.7 during a promising 4-2 stretch.
The Knicks rallied from a 12-point deficit Friday to put themselves in position to end San Antonio's 30-game regular-season home winning streak. Carmelo Anthony attracted a couple of defenders before finding Jose Calderon for a 3-pointer that missed as time expired in a 100-99 loss.
Kristaps Porzingis finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds, and Anthony contributed 20 and 12 despite shooting 5 for 15 while being hounded by Kawhi Leonard.
"I'll take a loss like this any day," Anthony said. "We have been playing good basketball as of late. I don't want to let this loss linger into Sunday against Milwaukee at home. (We'll) put this one behind us and build off this."
Although the Spurs seemed to be bothered by New York's frontcourt length, the tall, athletic Bucks (15-23) certainly won't. They've been a difficult matchup for the Knicks (18-20), winning two of the three meetings this season after taking all four in 2014-15.
Giannis Antetokounmpo did not play in a season-opening 122-97 home loss, but had 20 points and seven rebounds in a 99-92 road win Nov. 6 and 17, six boards and six assists in a 106-91 home win Dec. 5.
Middleton has averaged just 10.3 points on 9 for 34 (26.5 percent) shooting against the Knicks. However, he's one of the league's hottest players heading into this meeting with 25.7 points per game while making 18 for 35 (51. 4 percent) over his last six.
The fourth-year guard finished with 27 points Friday and hit a layup with less than 10 seconds left to help the Bucks snap a two-game slide with a 96-95 home win over Dallas.
"We have to take this win and build on it and try to validate it in New York," he said.
Michael Carter-Williams filled the stat sheet with 15 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and five steals. The point guard has averaged 19.7 points in three meetings against the Knicks since arriving in Milwaukee.
The Bucks limited the Mavericks to 41.7 percent shooting after they had given up an average of 112.3 points on 49.5 percent while dropping five of their previous seven. They've held New York to 92.8 points and a 42.9 percentage in the past six matchups.
"We have the length and size and athleticism to defend any team in this league," Middleton said. "Once we do that we're going to give ourselves a great chance to win."
Jerryd Bayless might be out after missing 12 of the previous 17 games with a left ankle sprain. Miles Plumlee's status is also uncertain after he sat out Friday with a sore left knee.
The Knicks have won seven of their last nine games at Madison Square Garden, but have dropped their past three there against the Bucks.