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Milwaukee vs. Philadelphia: Bucks Clobber Sixers, 132-94

Milwaukee now 1 1⁄2 games behind Sixers in the East

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

For the second game in a row, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, earning the series sweep, 132-94.

It’d be a slow start for both teams, Giannis Antetokounmpo started this one with some history, which included a free throw that served as his 12,000th career point. Aided by an additional five points apiece from Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday, the Bucks built up a 26-17 lead on the Joel Embiid-less Sixers after one. Philadelphia went just 1-of-11 from three in the opening quarter.

Both offenses would grind to a halt in the second quarter. This clearly had the markings of a Saturday afternoon game. Only one team would be able to hit the 50 point mark in the first half, and it’d be the Bucks. During the first two quarters, the Sixers would have as many technical fouls in the first half as they would 3-pointers. Milwaukee carried a ten point advantage into the locker room, 50-40.

The Sixers would nearly erase Milwaukee’s lead just four minutes into the third, coming a point shy. However, after Philly’s 12-3 run, the pendulum swung back in Milwaukee’s favor. They’d go on a 12-0 run to shift all momentum back on their side, led by the one and only Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’d end up being a 31-9 run to close out the quarter after Philly was within a point. Going into the fourth, the Bucks held an 86-63 advantage.

From that point on, there was nothing that threatened Milwaukee’s lead. They’d end up putting the cherry on top of a 132-94 victory, earning the series sweep vs. Philly.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was the leading scorer in this one, finishing his evening with 24 points on a very efficient 9-of-12 of shooting.

For the Embiid-less Sixers, Shake Milton and Tyrese Maxey both had 15 points apiece.

What Did We Learn?

Giannis Antetokounmpo really shined in this one. Right from the start of this one, it was clear that he was exhibiting his will as the best basketball player on the court. Though it was an ugly offensive showing for both squads early on, Giannis was still able to get things done. Bud dished out praise in Giannis’ ability to penetrate the zone defense, scoring and finding teammates. In fact, he got a lot done, as he ended up passing Glenn Robinson for second place in the Bucks’ all-time scoring list. He now has only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left in front of him.

Three Observations

The Bucks dominated the majority of this one.

From the start to the finish, this one was in sole possession of the Bucks. Sure, the Sixers got it close in the second quarter, but the way that the Bucks answered was quite impressive. After Philadelphia cut the deficit to a single point, Milwaukee went on a 31-9 rampage to really blow this one open. I don’t care if the Sixers were without Embiid and Simmons — that was impressive. That run really served as the tipping point in this one, as it was clear sailing for the Bucks from that point out.

When does Bobby Portis start receiving consideration for Sixth Man of the Year?

Another day, another game where Bobby Portis provides a spark off the bench. After the big performance from him on Thursday night, he provided yet another key impact, this time finishing with 17 points. It really is quite impressive how he’s able to bring the energy on such a consistent basis. It always seems that whenever he’s out there, he’s always bringing out the best of his teammates as well. There was a point where Donte made a nice drive to the hoop, and dished it to Bobby who made a beautiful cut down the baseline for an easy two. The kindling he provides this team is going to really be big come playoff time.

The Bucks saw zone once again.

Recently, the Bucks have been seeing lots of zones. In his postgame presser, Bud mentioned how he’d like to see more consistency against it. Giannis mentioned how nice it is that they are in fact seeing it, as it challenges them to become better at it — and come playoff time, that’ll be big for the Bucks. As for himself, he’s one that’s really succeeding against it, especially in this one. Like I mentioned, it’s great that the Bucks are being provided the opportunity to shape themselves up against the zone, because you know it’s inevitable that they’ll see that come the postseason.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Not that it mattered, but Khris Middleton will want to forget this one. He’d conclude his performance with just four points, all of which came from the charity stripe. He’d go 0-for-6 from the field. Look for him to rebound later today vs. the Hawks.
  • There were some ugly free throw attempts by Giannis, all of which were falling short and barely glancing the rims. As we get nearer to the playoffs, it’ll be imperative for him to get stronger in that area of his game, as you know teams will look to exploit him.
  • Shoutout to Pat Connaughton and Bryn Forbes for also providing a spark off the bench in addition to Portis. Forbes would finish with 13 points and Connaughton wrung out 11 of his own. It was a great night overall for the Bench Mob.
  • Shortly after scoring his 12,000th career point, Giannis would score points 12,001 and 12,002 in classic Giannis fashion:
  • Jordan Nwora came on late in the game, and immediately started balling. He’d splash home several threes right off the bat and quickly found himself in double-digit point territory. That ended up resulting in this: