The Milwaukee Bucks sleepwalked to a 130-95 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers to close out the regular season. The loss, coupled with a Miami Heat win and Washington Wizards loss, assures that Milwaukee will finish in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and face the Boston Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs.
It took until the final game of the year, but the Bucks finally turned in a blank injury report and it had been quite some time since that was the case:
I believe the last time the Bucks had their whole roster available at the start & end of a game (thus excluding Middleton's return/Parker's injury last season) was a Nov. 27, 2015 game vs ORL. Oddly enough, Joe Prunty coached that game, too, as Jason Kidd served a suspension. https://t.co/NDACDrwJvs— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) April 11, 2018
It did not matter.
The Bucks were down 46-18 after the first quarter and finished the first half with 44 total points. The Sixers could have gone the entire second period without scoring and still held a halftime lead, unfortunately for Milwaukee, Philadelphia went into the half with 80 total points. The gargantuan deficit would be too much for the Bucks to overcome as they managed to win the second half by one point, which was well short of what they needed to make it a competitive contest.
Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to the lineup after missing the past two games with an ankle injury. In 22 minutes of action, Antetokounmpo notched 10 points on 35 percent shooting while he also collected 10 rebounds and dished out three assists. At the very least, Giannis will be well rested for the post-season.
Jabari Parker led the way for Milwaukee scoring 25 points on 60 percent shooting and going 6/8 from the free throw line, a place he has not been too familiar with in his two months of action this season. In 24 minutes of action, Jabari showed an aggressive type of play tonight that will be necessary for the Bucks to be competitive against the Celtics.
Likely Rookie of the Year winner, Ben Simmons, wrapped up his first season with four points, six rebounds, and seven assists. It was Philadelphia’s other rookie, Markelle Fultz, that stole the show in the season finale. The first overall pick recorded his first career triple-double with a 13 point, 10 rebound, and 10 assist line on the night. The 76ers head into the postseason on a 16 game winning streak.
Stat that Stood Out
30 - the 76ers outscored the Bucks in the paint by 30 points. Despite being without the services of Joel Embiid, The Sixers scored 72 of their points in the paint and managed to hold the Bucks to 42 paint points. The quick start for Philadelphia aided in their ease of getting to the rim as it seemed like Milwaukee refused to contest shots close to the basket as the night went on.