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Milwaukee vs. Philadelphia: Bucks Ring the Bell on the Sixers, 117-104

Bucks rebound following the disaster against Boston

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that the Bucks needed, they were able to take care of business against the Philadelphia 76ers, 117-104.

What a turnaround of events. After shooting so horrendously to start things off against the Celtics, it was a totally different story last night vs. Philly. In the first few minutes of the first quarter, the Bucks hit more threes than they hit in the entire first half against Boston. When the first 12 minutes wrapped up, Milwaukee had sunk five threes, helping them pad a 41-26 lead going into the second.

The hot shooting for the Bucks continued to begin the second quarter. Milwaukee’s lead got to as big as 20 at one point. At intermission, they put together a shooting display of 67.4%, which allowed them to continue growing their lead to 69-53. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way at the break with 19 points.

Philadelphia came out swinging to begin the third, as they embarked on a 9-2 run out of the gates. However, the Bucks were able to maintain the course and keep the lead, even with it getting as close as four points. To close out the period, Joel Embiid found himself in foul trouble, which gave the Bucks a window that they took advantage of. Headed into the fourth, they earned a 96-82 lead.

From that point on, the Sixers were done, no matter what they tried to do. They were just too deep in a hole. The Bucks did a great job of closing things out and capped things off with a well-needed 117-104 victory.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was the leading scorer in this one, going off for 33 points on 13-of-17 shooting. Brook Lopez was solid on the offensive front, contributing with 21 points.

Tyrese Maxey was the leading scorer for the Sixers, concluding his outing with 29 points. Joel Embiid finished with 28 points.

The Bucks are off Monday night before returning to action in Washington, D.C. against the Wizards.

Three Observations

Milwaukee did a fantastic job of taking advantage of Joel Embiid’s foul trouble.

Late in the third, Joel Embiid whacked Brook Lopez and was called for his fourth foul. This forced Doc Rivers to put him on the bench. Giannis also had four fouls, but Bud substituted him in. It gave Milwaukee a golden opportunity to take control of the game, and that’s exactly what they did. Between the end of the third and the start of the fourth, the Bucks unleashed a 20-5 run which put them well in the driver’s seat for the victory. On the other end, Giannis had four fouls — but Bud opted for him to come back in. It was a huge decision that ultimately was the reason why the Bucks won this game. It also showed the trust that Bud has developed with Giannis in those strenuous positions where foul trouble is impeding the game action. Here’s his full quote below:

It turns out you can win basketball games when you shoot the basketball well.

Right from the opening tip, the Bucks were making baskets. They made their first eight of the night, and immediately piled up a lead that forced the Sixers to call multiple timeouts. At halftime, Milwaukee was shooting over 67% from the floor. That same momentum was carried throughout the remainder of the game. There were some times where the Sixers got close (they were within four points at one point), but the Bucks never wavered and always had an answer. This shooting display was definitely needed following the poor performance against Boston.

Bobby Portis brought it off the bench.

It’s April and there are “BOBBY! BOBBY! BOBBY!” chants echoing in Fiserv Forum. He was absolutely bringing it, posting 18 points and an 8-of-11 shooting performance. On a night where only two Bucks players off the bench scored, he made up for lost efficiency. Yet again, it proves how valuable he is to this squad. He may not have tallied a double-double, but his fingerprints were still all over this one. It’s always evident that his energy is infectious and rubs off on his teammates, and will surely do so in the postseason as we’ve seen the last two years.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while or following me on Twitter long enough, you’ll know that I love obscure jersey spottings. It doesn’t matter what sport, whether it be at Fiserv Forum or Miller Park. Tonight, I came across a marvelous one — and it wasn’t even a Bucks jersey!
  • Grayson Allen left this game with a right ankle sprain. In his postgame availability, Bud mentioned to us that he was told that it was a mild to moderate sprain. We’ll likely learn more today as tests are run.
  • With Joel Embiid in town, you knew that the MVP talk was going to follow — and it did. Postgame, Bud mentioned how he thinks Giannis is deserving of the MVP. As for what Giannis thinks of the MVP race? Here you go:
  • Khris Middleton seems to be getting back to his typical self. He’d knock down several threes which helped develop his 19 points. Early on, you could just tell that his shot was on and that it was the Khris everyone is used to seeing. If he truly does find his groove heading into the playoffs, that’s monumental for the Bucks.
  • We barely saw Pat Connaughton last night. He tallied just 1:26 of action and it came in garbage time. Pre-game, Bud told us how his rotations are thought out before every game, so this didn’t come on a whim. We’ll see if Connaughton falls back into the rotation Tuesday against the Wizards.
  • Jrue Holiday continues to be a pest on defense. He tallied four of them on the night and was a major thorn in the Sixers’ sides.
  • Last, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen at halftime of an NBA game: