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Milwaukee vs. Philadelphia: 76ers Snap Bucks’ Winning Streak, 133-130

Bucks collapse down the stretch

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

In a chippy, physical outing, the Philadelphia 76ers were able to overcome the Bucks and break Milwaukee’s winning streak with a 133-130 victory.

Hot shooting and clean basketball defined the first quarter for both teams. Milwaukee’s firepower came from Bobby Portis, who was a force on both ends of the ball in a major way. His seven points along with Brook Lopez’s eight in the opening frame fueled the Bucks, who found themselves in a tie game all knotted up at 29 apiece going into the second.

Despite their 3-point shooting falling off a bit in the second quarter, the Bucks made up for it in other areas. One of those? Accountability on the offensive side of the ball. Turnovers were limited by them, which ensured there weren’t any wasted possessions. It helped the Bucks capture a 59-53 advantage at the break.

Milwaukee would explode in the third quarter, turning up the dial from beyond the arc — Grayson Allen specifically. His flurry of threes really tilted the table of momentum the Bucks’ way, padding the lead to a near 20-point advantage. Philadelphia would slice into things a little bit down the stretch, but headed into the fourth, the Bucks found themselves up by 14 at 99-85.

Sloppy basketball from the Bucks allowed the 76ers to rattle off an 8-0 run to begin the fourth. It granted them momentum that they’d continue generating more and more of as the quarter progressed. When it was all said and done, Philadelphia poured in 48 points in the period, which was enough to push them across the finish line with a 133-130 victory.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was the leading scorer for Milwaukee, finishing with 34 points. Jrue Holiday was solid on the offensive end with 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

James Harden was brilliant for the Sixers, concluding his efforts with 38 points. Joel Embiid was right there next to him, magnifying things with 31 points of his own. Tyrese Maxey also chipped in 26 points.

The Bucks are right back at it Sunday evening as they head to the nation’s capital and look to begin a new winning streak against the Washington Wizards.

Three Observations

That was an extremely ugly fourth quarter.

Any time you allow a team to score 48 points on you in a quarter, things aren’t going to go nicely. The Bucks found that out the hard way last night. Philadelphia turned their jets on and seemingly did everything right. Additionally, there were some bailout shots that really benefitted the Sixers. Here’s what Mike Budenholzer had to say regarding the fourth:

As for Jrue Holiday? The key point he made centered around the Sixers’ bench unit:

Giannis echoed Bud’s statements regarding Philly taking advantage of the 3-pointers and free throws that they converted late, talking about how the Bucks had control for the first three quarters then let it get away in the fourth.

Grayson Allen had an astonishing third quarter — but not much more.

When Milwaukee opened things up by nearly 20 points, it was largely thanks to the play of Grayson Allen. He exploded from beyond the 3-point line, torching Philly’s defense with multiple threes. However, he wasn’t able to inflict any more damage following that, as he was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Obviously, the Bucks would’ve enjoyed seeing him not boast a goose egg to close things out, but that’s what happened. Here’s a tidbit from Bud’s postgame availability:

However, last night displayed the flurry of an impact that Allen can make in a moment’s notice. We saw it last year during the playoffs against Chicago and we saw it on display again last night. It was massive that Milwaukee didn’t have to give him up at the deadline.

Joel Embiid and James Harden were brilliant in the fourth quarter.

Big-time players show up for big-time games, and Harden and Embiid did exactly that. Harden specifically had one of the best games I had ever seen from him, exploding for a game-high 38 points. In addition to that, he tallied ten assists, getting his teammates involved in a very efficient manner. Embiid was also crucial for Philly, with his late three giving them the lead that they’d never relinquish. This was quite reminiscent of the game earlier this year against the Lakers in Milwaukee, where all of the stars involved had their fingerprints all over the box score in massive ways. When the stars are shining, it’s always a fun game of basketball — and last night epitomized that once again.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • That was one of the more physical games I’ve seen in a while. It was fun seeing Embiid and Lopez clash down low.
  • Georges Niang couldn’t miss from three (okay, he missed just one three). He’d end up going 5-of-6 from beyond the perimeter. In his pre-game warmup, he was hitting nearly everything with a perfect swish. Just an incredible shooting display from him.
  • It was a bit of a struggle for Khris Middleton. He’d continue to come off the bench, contributing with 27 minutes of action. He’d only pour in just seven points and never really was able to find a groove.
  • Giannis was huge from the free throw line. He went 16-of-18.
  • This was a nice sequence between Ingles and Lopez:
  • Despite there being some close calls late in the game, Mike Budenholzer never sent anything to a video review. His thoughts;
  • Kane...C’MON, MATE! The Reverse Cam needs to be BANNED!