MILWAUKEE–The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to make a statement Saturday night. The Milwaukee Bucks were on a 16-game winning streak entering the tournament at Feather Forum and were looking to end that streak and pick up an impressive win for themselves.
And that’s what they did on Saturday night. The Bucks exploded in the third quarter and opened up an 18-point lead, but Philadelphia scratched it and rallied and eventually pulled away with a 133-130 win. Despite losing Tobias Harris and PJ Tucker to injuries in the middle of the game, Milwaukee has a 16-game winning streak.
Buy 76ers tickets
James Harden led Philadelphia with 38 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists, Tyrese Maxey had 26 points, and Joel Embiid had 31 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. George Niang added 16 points with five triples, Jalen McDaniel added eight, and DeAnthony Melton added five.
Here are the player rankings by wins:
Beard got off to a great start on the offensive end. He was able to knock down deep jumpers and make an impact that way. He was able to get to the penalty line and score points that way. Overall, his 3-point shooting was working for him and he made some really tough shots for Philadelphia when they needed it. That being said, Bucks seemed to struggle a bit at the basket as he was unable to finish at the rim. Milwaukee has been able to give Harden a lot of trouble every time he gets in the paint and this could be a problem in the future. However, this was Harden’s best game as a Sixer and they could not have won this game without him.
Drawing the start for the third straight game, Maxey was able to knock in a triple early and make an impact offensively. He was also making some solid shots before Milwaukee’s length and getting to the free throw line. However, the Bucs had their usual issues on defense as he constantly got into the paint and was able to score against him at will. It was more of the same in the second half as Max was able to score at a faster pace, but the defense wasn’t the only one and Milwaukee made the save.
Harris was able to knock off a triple early as Philadelphia ran a play to open it up. After that, he didn’t get much of a chance to contribute on the offensive end, taking only two shots. It’s possible considering how good Embiid and Harden have been in this one, but the Sixers need to find a way to consistently include him. He left at the halfway mark due to left calf pain.
Give Tucker credit for his defensive work against Antetokounmpo. He fought the Greek Freak on every possession and at times it frustrated him. These are the games where the Sixers go out and have Tucker to help Philadelphia in these big games. To his credit, though, he left the three ends open on the offensive end. Both were open looks as well. Those shots should make for success for the offense.
A tough big man like Brook Lopez would normally give Embiid trouble, but the big dude came out firing to start this one. His jumper was working in the mid-range and deep early and he was able to find good space at the basket. That being said, there was one moment he was blocked by Lopez and didn’t get back on defense, which allowed Lopez to walk off with a triple. Overall, Embiid’s numbers were pretty good. However, he had a few defensive breakdowns and missed some key rebounds that led to an easy goal for Milwaukee. He redeemed himself by sinking a clutch triple with 42 seconds left to give the Sixers the lead for good.
Melton had one move in the second quarter that shook off a defender and was able to get to the basket for an easy layup. It’s not often a sight to behold when Melton is able to move to the basket. He also had some good moments on the defensive end. He was one of the few six players who played well on perimeter defense.
The good: Niang finally gets to get out of the shooting slump he’s in with a triple-double. Overall, though, Niang was able to knock down the 3-pointers you’d expect from him. Being able to get out of the slump is the biggest development for him.
McDaniel’s debut was a very poor piece of writing. He failed to make an impact against this talented Bucks team and did a disservice on the defensive end. He tripled in the second half and made some big offensive plays to help Philadelphia get back into the game. It was a mixed bag for him as he committed five fouls in total.
Unfortunately, Redd was hit by an early foul while trying to defend Antetokounmpo. That limited his effectiveness on that end and allowed the Bucks to go to him and score easily without Embiid on the floor. He deserves credit for his performance in the second half as he was able to get a big bucket when Philadelphia came back. Just had a rough time with the Greek freak.
Again, Milton didn’t see it until the second half, but he was able to stay poised and push the pace for the Sixers. He had some tough times defensively, but played as a ball handler. He was positive the minute he stepped on the floor.
Leave a Reply