MILWAUKEE (AP) Down three ball-handlers, Bucks coach Jason Kidd turned to veteran shooting guard O.J. Mayo to start the game at point guard.
Milwaukee responded with one of its best all-around efforts of the season in a 106-91 win against the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
Michael Carter-Williams, the Bucks' only healthy true point guard, had 20 points off the bench. Milwaukee used a 21-4 run in the third quarter to pull away from New York.
Defense, which has been a problem so far this season for the Bucks, was a strength against the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony led New York with 18 points, but was just 6 of 17 from the field.
Mayo set the tone on offense and finished with 17 points.
''One turnover for a guy who we would say likes to shoot it,'' Kidd said. ''I think he showed what it means to be a true teammate.''
Mayo had five assists and was 8 of 12 from the field.
''Whatever we need, you know,'' Mayo said when asked about running the offense.
The Knicks looked out of sorts playing on the back half of back-to-back games.
The Knicks trailed by 21 with 7:04 left in the third quarter when coach Derek Fisher replaced his entire starting five following a technical foul on Jose Calderon at the end of the run. Frustrated starters argued with the officials.
The fresh lineup settled the team, though New York could get no closer than nine the rest of the night.
''We didn't start the third quarter in any way shape or form like we wanted to win the game,'' Fisher said.
Jabari Parker had 17 points, including a dunk and a jumper during the decisive spurt that pushed Milwaukee to a double-digit lead.
Parker, who is returning from a left knee injury, showed spurts of athleticism and a tough-to-stop baseline move while playing a season-high 36 minutes.
The team has been cautious with Parker's return this season.
''It's a real big step. I'm glad I had a chance to do it so early'' in the season, Parker said about his heavy minutes.
Milwaukee's Greg Monroe had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and beat the Knicks with his mid-range game.
Rookie Kristaps Porzingis had 12 points for the Knicks. He drew sneers after slipping to the floor while fouling Johnny O'Bryant on a drive, and then impressed the crowd later in the second quarter by swooping by three defenders around the bucket for an athletic putback off a rebound.
Anthony appeared to be in discomfort on the bench while trainers treated his left knee in the first quarter after bumping into the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Knicks star returned after a couple minutes and played 32 minutes on the night.
''They wanted it more than us on both ends of the court. They were more physical than us. We just didn't bring us,'' Anthony said.
He added after the game that his knee felt numb after receiving treatment, but otherwise it was ''nothing serious.''
Carter-Williams lost his starting job because of inconsistency. But he played well on both ends against the Knicks, finished with five assists and two turnovers.
''He did a really good job attacking the paint, being able to finish, and also set up his teammates,'' Kidd said.
Knicks: Fisher said G Aaron Afflalo is getting more comfortable after missing the preseason with a hamstring injury. Afflalo, who missed the season's first eight games, is averaging 13.6 points.
Bucks: PG Jerryd Bayless was using crutches and wearing a boot on his left foot before the game. He hurt his ankle during Friday night's loss at Detroit. ... PG Greivis Vasquez missed his fifth game because of right ankle soreness. Kidd said he hopes Vasquez can start running in the next few days. ... PG Tyler Ennis sat out with left shoulder soreness.
Knicks: Host Mavericks on Monday.
Bucks: Host Trail Blazers on Monday.