Joel Embiid pumped in 42 points and the Philadelphia 76ers overcame a second-half comeback as they defeated the host Milwaukee Bucks, 123-120, on Thursday night, February 17 (Friday, February 18, Manila time).
The 76ers snapped a six-game losing streak against their Eastern Conference rivals that dated back to 2019.
Embiid hit 14-of-21 shots and added 14 rebounds to help the 76ers get back on track after a 48-point loss to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
Tobias Harris chipped in 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Tyrese Maxey also had 19 points, and Georges Niang tallied 18.
Giannis Antetokounmpo paced Milwaukee with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists on 13-of-23 shooting.
Philadelphia led by as many as 15 in the third quarter before the Bucks shaved the deficit down to seven by the start of the fourth.
Milwaukee took a 111-109 lead with 5:47 left after Jrue Holiday hit a three-pointer, but the 76ers kept their composure and outscored the Bucks 14-9 to close the game.
Khris Middleton had a chance to send the game to overtime, but he missed a potential game-tying three-pointer at the final buzzer.
Holiday added 24 points, Middleton contributed 19, Jordan Nwora recorded 18, and Bobby Portis had 17.
The Bucks kept things close thanks to their ball security, as they tallied just seven turnovers.
After trailing by 12 with 4:56 left in the second quarter, the Sixers went on a 28-8 run to close the half, sending them into halftime with a 69-61 edge.
Maxey exploded during the surge, scoring 14 of his 16 first-half points. Embiid led all scorers before the break with 22 points.
Nwora had 13 points, and Antetokounmpo and Portis both added 12 to keep the Bucks within single digits.
Milwaukee did a good portion of its work at the charity stripe, sinking 13-of-16 (81.2%) free throws.
Embiid and Harris provided nearly all of Philadelphia’s early offense, scoring 22 of its 24 first-quarter points. Despite the duo’s dominance, the Bucks closed the frame on an 8-0 run to jump out to an early 27-24 lead. – Rappler.com