Initially briefly dominated by the Bucks, under the impetus of a duo Khris Middleton – Giannis Antetokounmpo in form (19 of the Bucks’ first 27 points), the first half was above all marked by the offensive explosion of the 76ers in the second quarter. Under the impetus of a Joel Embiid who scored 11 points in this quarter alone, after a first quarter at 12 points from James Harden, the locals planted 37 points, at 9/18 at 3-points, and s offered a comfortable lead at half-time (61-51), against the recital of Giannis Antetokounmpo (17 points).
But the result will not be so good for Philadelphia, which delivers a clearly less impactful second period. The third quarter is fairly balanced (30-28 for the Bucks), leaving the door open for Milwaukee to come back strong in the last quarter.
And that’s exactly what happened: still carried by an excellent “Greek Feak”, who reached the 40-point mark, well helped by Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, Mike Buhenholzer’s men caught up and overthrew the 76ers in the final quarter: 37 points at 13/18 on shots! While the band of Doc Rivers, she loses ground in attack (27 points, 11/26), too dependent on her duo Embiid – Harden to exist.
The 76ers have an opportunity to equalize, but a Greek counter on Joel Embiid decides otherwise. First considered illegal, the action is validated on video, and the Bucks narrowly win on the Philly floor (118-116).
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– An enjoyable attacking match. The Bucks finished the game at 50% shooting success (44/88), with 26 assists for 44 baskets, the 76ers at 48.3% (43/89), with 28 assists. The two formations delivered a very good offensive performance, despite the omnipresence of Giannis Antetokounmpo on one side, and James Harden and Joel Embiid on the other, with relatively little waste given the final score. A poster from the top of the Eastern Conference table that has kept all its promises.
– The conference is in turmoil. Thanks to this victory, the Bucks take 2nd place at the Sixers, and are only one victory away from the Heat. Until the end, the race for 1st place will be exciting.
✅ James Harden and Joel Embiid. Who compile 61 points (out of 116) at 20/38 on shots, 19 rebounds and 16 assists. The 76ers’ new star duo gave it their all, were once again huge, but narrowly fell short. After such an effort, and while the final gap is two points, the two players will probably regret the lack of inspiration from their teammates in attack: only Tobias Harris (22 points) exceeded 10 points.
✅ Giannis Antetokounmpo. Huge performance by the Bucks All-Star on the 76ers floor: 40 points (16/24), 14 rebounds and 6 assists. With, as a bonus, the free throw which takes the Bucks to +2 at the end of the match, then the decisive counter on the next action. The “Greek Freak” was immense.
✅ Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. Perfect in their roles as lieutenants. The other two members of Milwaukee’s “Big Three” rocked, especially in the second period. They came close with the triple-double: 22 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists for the first, 18 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists for the second, and proved invaluable in tipping the scales in favor of the Bucks in the “ money time”.
⛔️ Tyrese Maxey. The young fullback lacked his usual spirit, and it was clearly felt in the 76ers attack, which was sometimes too stagnant when the ball left the hands of Harden or Embiid. The former Kentucky only scored 7 points at 3/11 on shots, despite spending 40 minutes on the field.
Philadelphia (46-29): Thursday, trip to Detroit
Milwaukee (47-28): passage to Brooklyn Thursday, for a shock against the Nets