NBA: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks overwhelm 76ers
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a bounce-back 117-104 win over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
Brook Lopez added 21 points while Khris Middleton scored 19 points along with a team-high nine assists for the Bucks (56-22). Bobby Portis and Jrue Holiday each contributed 18 points.
Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey carried the load for Philadelphia (51-27), scoring 57 of the 76ers’ 104 points with Maxey ultimately leading with 29.
It was a strong start for Milwaukee after one of their worst offensive performances of the season in their previous game on Thursday, a 140-99 home loss to Boston. The Bucks made 12 of their first 13 shot attempts Sunday, shooting 70 percent in a 41-point first quarter.
Bucks bounce back with a statement win against the Sixers. pic.twitter.com/qbR7qWUUyB
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 3, 2023
The Bucks led 69-53 at halftime, with Antetokounmpo already at 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting.
Then came the third quarter, where the 76ers would go on a run, shrinking their deficit to just four at one point. Grayson Allen exited in the third quarter for Milwaukee after limping off the court in obvious pain. The Bucks said Allen suffered a right ankle sprain.
Philadelphia guard James Harden reached a milestone in the third, passing the 7,000-assist mark for his career. Harden currently ranks 20th on the NBA’s all-time assist leaderboard and fourth among active players.
The 76ers’ run was short-lived, as Milwaukee stormed back at the end of the third, capped off by an emphatic dunk from Antetokounmpo just before the buzzer sounded. The Bucks led 96-82 going into the fourth and would not look back.
Milwaukee split the season series against Philadelphia 2-2 after the 76ers won the previous two matchups. The Bucks now sit two games up over Boston for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and their magic number to clinch the top spot is now three. Philadelphia fell five games behind the Bucks in the third spot.