Game 5: Milwaukee Bucks 91 Philadelphia 76ers 87 Grades & Reactions

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Nov 4, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks to pass the ball in front of Philadelphia 76ers forward Nerlens Noel (4) during the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

After spending 324 days away from an NBA court, Jabari Parker finally made his return to the Milwaukee Bucks starting lineup on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.

His return was nearly spoiled.

Down 83-80 with just over three minutes to play the Bucks looked for someone, anyone to take the mantle as the Bucks go-to crunch time scorer.

They looked no further than Greg Monroe (18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) and Khris Middleton (21 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) who delivered back-to-back open looks at the rim to take the lead.

One defensive stop and a Middleton three-pointer later and the game was out of reach for the spirited 76ers.

On one hand it’s disappointing that the Bucks were pushed to the limit by a team that won just eighteen games a year ago.

On the other hand it’s reassuring to see the Bucks young stars take over a tight game in the closing minutes.

Monroe, in particular, has been the offensive cornerstone that the Bucks look to when they need a bucket. He delivered against Brooklyn and did the same against Philadelphia.

But this game nearly got away thanks to Jahlil Okafor’s 21 points, and Nerlens Noel’s 17 points, 12 rebound performance.

Unsurprisingly the Bucks were out-rebounded 51-37, while giving up 50 points in the paint.

The paint defense in particular was a soft spot the 76ers exploited when they needed baskets. That’s an area the Bucks will need to tighten up moving forward.

Nevertheless it was the Milwaukee Bucks who came up with big shots and big stops with the game on the line.

In the end the only stat that matters is “W” or “L”.

Check out our grades and reactions from the Milwaukee Bucks 91-97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Next: Reactions: The Good