In their first meeting of the season, the Philadelphia 76ers coasted to a lopsided win against the shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
In the season’s first matchup of these two rising Eastern Conference powers, the Milwaukee Bucks were without two key players. Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was held out with knee soreness, and reigning rookie of the year Malcom Brogdon missed the game to attend to a personal matter.
As a result, the surging 76ers were heavy favorites, and it was up to the rest of the Bucks to step up.
Philadelphia got off to a scorching start, going 15-of-23 from the field and putting up 37 points in the first quarter. Things got worse in the second quarter, as the Bucks trailed by as many as 16. As the 76ers began to cool off, Milwaukee took advantage and cut the lead down to six at the half.
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While the Bucks continued their solid play into the third quarter, the 76ers began playing some extremely sloppy basketball. The beneficiaries of 10 turnovers in the period, Milwaukee tied the game at 77 on a Thon Maker free throw with 3:30 left in the period.
The Bucks remained within striking distance early in the final period, but Philadelphia’s talented young team took advantage of the sputtering Milwaukee offense, building up a double digit lead. A late run led by Khris Middleton pulled the Bucks to within eight, but Joel Embiid and company responded by going on an 11-0 run of their own, putting the Bucks away for good.
While the final outcome was disappointing for Bucks fans, there were bright spots. Khris Middleton had his first career triple-double, and some of Milwaukee’s rotation players shined in their expanded roles.
But first, let’s take a look at the offensive performance put forth by Philadelphia.