Korverís 31 Points Lifts 76ers Over Bucks
Philadelphia 116, Milwaukee 111
MILWAUKEE, Feb. 24 (Ticker) -- Kyle Korver showed the rest of the Philadelphia 76ers how to beat the Milwaukee Bucks.
Korver scored 17 of his career-high 31 points in the fourth quarter as the 76ers held on for a 116-111 victory and hurdled the slumping Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings.
The third-year forward with the sweet stroke made 10-of-17 shots, including 4-of-7 3-pointers, and 7-of-7 free throws. Having lost his starting spot earlier in the season, Korver has scored 44 points in two games since the All-Star break.
"It's been a tough month," Korver said. "I've struggled shooting. Tonight, I got some shots early and I felt good. When I woke up this morning, I felt good, like it was going to be a good night."
"It wasn't about taking the responsibility. Stuff just came to me. I got a lot of free throws. I don't think I've ever shot that many free throws in a game. I got the post-ups. We went small, so they went small and I had T.J. Ford on me for a while. That's something I've been working on."
The Bucks were looking for their first season sweep of the Sixers since 1973-74. Philadelphia had lost the first three meetings with Milwaukee this season, two at home in excruciating fashion.
This one appeared headed down a similar path as the Sixers allowed an 18-point ourth-quarter lead to be cut to 104-98 with 4:09 to play.
Korver responded with a layup and 3-pointer to rebuild the lead to double digits, but the Bucks kept coming. A driving layup by Ford made it 110-105 before Korver drained a pair of free throws with 1:27 to go.
Milwaukee made one last charge as layup by Mo Williams, a follow shot by Joe Smith and a driving dunk by Michael Redd cut the deficit to 112-111 with 14 seconds to play. But Korver made two free throws, then two more after Redd missed a potential tying 3-pointer.
"We kept saying in the huddle, 'We are not going to lose to this team four times,'" Korver said. "That last shot, Michael Redd has that three, he hit that on me the first game this season. I contested that one so hard, but he still made it. I thought, not again, but he missed it and we got the rebound."
Webber was not surprised Korver carried the offense in the fourth period.
"That shouldn't surprise anyone," Webber said. "That's why we need to make sure we keep getting him the ball. That's what he's capable of."
Andre Iguodala had 13 points and six steals and Steven Hunter scored 12 points for the Sixers, who played without NBA blocked shots leader Samuel Dalembert (ankle) but moved into seventh place in the East.
Smith had a season-high 32 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, Bobby Simmons added 19 and 10 and Redd scored 18 points for Milwaukee (27-28), which has lost a season-high four in a row and is below .500 for the first time this season.
"We came out in the second half and competed," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "To get down 18 and still have a three to tie the game, I'm proud of the way the team came back and fought. But the first half was a big disappointment."
Hunter, who was traded to New Orleans last month but returned to Philadelphia when the deal was rescinded, made 6-of-7 shots.
"It felt good just playing, to instill some confidence back in my game, get some rhythm out on the court, get some repetitions," Hunter said. "I'm glad I could help the team tonight and we pulled out a big win, for our confidence, and also for the rankings of the Eastern Conference. Now we move ahead of these guys."
Philadelphia shot a scorching 61.5 percent (24-of-39) in the first half as it raced to a 64-52 lead. Milwaukee committed 14 turnovers and had trouble getting into its offense against one of the league's worst defensive teams.
"They had some good pressure, but at the same time, we were sloppy with the ball, just being careless," said Ford, who had five turnovers.
The Bucks were within 46-45 before the Sixers closed the second quarter on an 18-7 surge. Iverson backed down Ford for a short jumper that pushed the lead to 10 points and capped the half with a three-point play.
Webber's 3-pointer made it 83-68 midway through the third quarter. A basket by Korver gave Philadelphia its largest lead at 102-84 with 7:54 to play.