A season-high 38 points from Caron Butler weren’t enough to end Milwaukee’s seven-game skid.
Despite a strong performance from Caron Butler, Milwaukee (2-9) dropped its seventh consecutive game Friday, falling to Philadelphia (6-8) 115-107 in overtime at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers, playing without Thaddeus Young (personal reasons), closed the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run capped off by a Spencer Hawes fall-away three-pointer from the corner with under three seconds left to tie the game at 102. Milwaukee was outscored 13-5 in the overtime period.
Caron Butler paced Milwaukee with one of the better all-around performances of his career. The veteran scored 38 points (13-22 FG), including four three-pointers, while recording eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Ersan Ilyasova chipped in 19 points on a night when Luke Ridnour (1-7 FG) and O.J. Mayo (3-12) struggled mightily from the field. However, Ridnour and Mayo combined for 17 assists and just three turnovers.
The Bucks fell behind 28-20 at the end of the first quarter but rallied to cut the halftime deficit to 55-53. Philadelphia caught fire from the field in the second half, shooting a blistering 57 percent for the game. Rookie Michael Carter-Williams led the Sixers with 25 points (11-16 FG) and 12 rebounds while Evan Turner added 27 points, six rebounds and three assists in a team-high 39 minutes. It was a coming out party, of sorts, for little-known rookie Hollis Thompson, who contributed 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting in 21 minutes off the bench.
The Bucks are streaking. Here are some observations from Friday’s game:
-Rebounding Woes: The Bucks rank near the bottom of the league in rebounding, and the struggles continued, as Philadelphia outrebounded Milwaukee 50-32. However, offensive boards – a major issue thus far – were not the problem with both teams grabbing ten. Milwaukee attempted 14 more field goals than Philadelphia, so the rebounding numbers could be a bit misleading.
-The Hawes Show: Aside from hitting the game-tying three-pointer, Hawes notched his third straight double-double, finishing with 25 points and 12 rebounds; this after putting up 28 and 10 Wednesday against Toronto.
-No Giannis: For the second straight game, our beloved Greek friend failed to see the court. After playing double-digit minutes in four straight games, it’s clear Antetokounmpo has been squeezed out of the rotation in the short-term with most of the roster now healthy.
-Knight Sits: Originally listed as a game-time decision, Brandon Knight sat out Friday, missing his fourth straight game and seventh of the season. It’s unknown when he’ll make his return, but he seems close so it’s reasonable to expect him back either Saturday against Charlotte or Monday against Detroit.
-Looking Ahead: Blowing a fourth quarter lead to Philadelphia is a crushing loss, especially when it’s your seventh in a row, but I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: all hope is not lost. Milwaukee’s next nine games come against teams currently under .500, so if there was ever a chance to climb back into the thick of Eastern Conference mediocrity, this is it.