The great Earl “The Pearl” Monroe grabbed the microphone at the end of a nostalgic anniversary celebration so well-received that even Phil Jackson received nothing but cheers from the Garden faithful.

Monroe concluded his speech as spokesman for the 1972-73 Knicks championship team being honored at halftime by saying that he and his former teammates are keeping their fingers crossed for another title for the franchise 40 years later.

The Atlantic-leading Knicks responded by erasing a nine-point halftime deficit and steamrolling Milwaukee with a barrage of three-pointers – including a 70-foot banker by Jason Kidd at the buzzer from the top of the arc in the backcourt -- in the third quarter for their 11th consecutive victory, 101-83, over the Bucks at the Garden.

After pouring on 50 and 40 points in his previous two games, Carmelo Anthony netted 29 of his 41 points in the second half to become the first Knick since Bernard King in 1984-85 to post three consecutive games of at least 40.

J.R. Smith (30 points and 10 rebounds) nailed four of the Knicks’ eight threes in the third quarter as Mike Woodson’s team doubled up the Bucks by a 42-21 margin after intermission to seize a 78-66 turnaround lead after shooting just 1-for-12 from long range in the first half.