Wesley Matthews hit a three-pointer with 23.8 seconds remaining to lift the Milwaukee Bucks past the host Philadelphia 76ers, 90-88, on Thursday, October 20 (Friday, October 21, Manila time).
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 21 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 blocked shots while Brook Lopez added 17 points in the team’s season opener.
Grayson Allen also scored, and Bobby Portis had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks.
The Bucks played without Khris Middleton (left wrist), Joe Ingles (left knee) and Pat Connaughton (right calf).
Philadelphia’s James Harden scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 31 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds.
Harden missed a short jumper with four seconds left as the Sixers took their second consecutive loss to start the season.
Joel Embiid added 15 points and 12 rebounds but shot 6-for-21, and Tyrese Maxey also had 15 points for Philadelphia. Tobias Harris pulled down 10 rebounds.
Matthews hit a three-pointer with 3:09 left in the second quarter and the Bucks led 41-37.
Embiid and Maxey scored on consecutive possessions and the game was tied.
The Bucks held a 47-45 advantage at halftime thanks in large part to Antetokounmpo’s 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
The game tightened defensively midway through the third, including Lopez blocking Embiid at the rim, and the Bucks led 58-55 with 5:47 remaining.
When Matthews dropped in a runner in the lane and Portis added a tough shot in the low post with 2:14 to go in the third, the Bucks went ahead 66-57.
Milwaukee led 73-63 at the end of the third after Philadelphia’s De’Anthony Melton scored at the buzzer.
The Sixers’ frustration was evident as head coach Doc Rivers was whistled for a technical foul with 10:35 left in the contest.
Then after trailing 80-67, the 76ers soon ripped off a 13-0 run to pull level. Harden converted a layup with 6:42 remaining and tied the game at 80.
Antetokounmpo snapped the spurt with a spinning basket in the lane 35 seconds later for a two-point lead.
Harden tied the game again at 84, and Antetokounmpo missed two free throws with 2:07 to go.
Harden then made a short jumper for an 86-84 advantage, but Allen drove to the basket and equalized with 1:10 left.
Two foul shots by PJ Tucker gave Philadelphia a two-point edge with 32.9 seconds remaining before Matthews sank his winning basket. – Rappler.com