3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ thrilling win over Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MARCH 29 (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MARCH 29 (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Philadelphia 76ers: Tobias Harris
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – MARCH 29 (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

With serious Eastern Conference implications on the line, the Milwaukee Bucks visited the rivaling Philadelphia 76ers in Wells Fargo Center last night.

Entering the matchup with the exact same record, both the Bucks and 76ers needed this victory to earn the tiebreaker between the two and continue their pursuit of the East’s top overall seed. With each team possessing a double-digit lead at one point, 13 different lead changes, and a crazy final 12 minutes of action, it seems safe to say that this contest lived up to the hype surrounding it. The Bucks ultimately came out on top with a 118-116 victory in what will certainly be remembered as an instant classic. With that being said, let us look at three takeaways from the contest.

Brook Lopez looked back up to speed as he clocked in his best performance of the season for the Milwaukee Bucks

Since returning from back surgery just over one week ago, Brook Lopez has slowly but surely been finding his footing with the Bucks. He has shown some justifiable rust in this stretch, but he would need to be at his best on both ends in this pivotal matchup with the 76ers, which he certainly was.

Offensively, Lopez scored a season-high 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting, with a sizeable portion of that coming from behind the arc. The big man knocked down four triples in nine attempts, having a huge night from downtown. His fourth and final make of the night was a big basket early on in the fourth quarter that put the Bucks up by two points, which helped propel a significant run over the final 12 minutes. In addition to his sweet-shooting, it was welcoming to see Lopez attack the rim with some ferocity by throwing down a thunderous dunk. It was great to see Lopez contribute so mightily on the offensive end in this matchup as he continues to work his way back up to speed following surgery.

Lopez had his work cut out for him on the other end as he was tasked with slowing down an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid. Although Lopez did not shut him down by any means during the minutes in which they were matched up, he did a solid job. Milwaukee’s overall defense was simply better whenever Lopez was on the court, which has been a noticeable trend since he returned to action earlier this month. There are few players better than him in the NBA at disrupting opponents at the rim, and he made his presence felt last night. Given how poorly the Bucks had been on the defensive end prior to his return recently, this has undoubtedly been welcoming.

In short, Lopez had himself a phenomenal game for the Milwaukee Bucks last night. Yet, it was overshadowed by everything else that went on.