David Dow/NBAE/Getty Images
Green was 4-of-4 from downtown Friday.
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 12 (AP)-- Willie Green held the ball at the top of the 3-point arc for maybe a second or two, not enough time to think about a pass or a step-back jumper with an open lane ahead.
Green then sped by Andrew Bogut, took off a few feet before the basket, and threw down a stunning and ferocious, one-handed dunk that jolted the crowd and startled the slumping 76ers.
"I'd never seen that before,'' a grinning Maurice Cheeks said.
Turns out, Philadelphia was full of surprises.
"There was an energy from everyone, there was an urgency from everyone,'' Cheeks said. "Everyone had to push their game up a little bit.''
Bogut had another breakout game with 20 points and 24 rebounds, Charlie Bell scored 26 points, Earl Boykins had 11 points and 11 assists in his Bucks debut, and Milwaukee - missing four starters because of injuries - lost its fifth straight.
"We just ran out of gas in the second half,'' Bucks coach Terry Stotts said.
While Boykins made a splendid first impression, Green simply dazzled in his best game of the season.
Most of the game, "Air Willie,'' stayed grounded from beyond the 3-point arc. He sank one at the buzzer that sliced Milwaukee's halftime lead to 54-46. Green went 13-for-19 overall and made all four 3-pointers.
But it was the first-quarter dunk that really got everyone talking. Not known for his aerial game, especially after missing of last season with a knee injury, Green crouched and stared at a wild Sixers bench after the right-handed jam.
"I got a good lift in yesterday so I kind of felt pretty good,'' he said, smiling.
Not bad for the reserve guard who made only his ninth start of the season and first since Dec. 23.
"We need a little something else and obviously he gave it to us,'' Cheeks said.
The Bucks needed a little something, also, and they got it in Boykins. The 5-foot-5 guard, acquired with Julius Hodge from Denver on Thursday for backup guard Steve Blake, didn't make much difference after the first half. Boykins scored 10 points in the first half to help the Bucks build a double-digit lead, but it collapsed in the second half once the Sixers showed some surprising spirit without departed All-Stars Allen Iverson and Chris Webber.
The Sixers fell behind by 14 before rallying and taking a 57-56 lead on Iguodala's driving dunk midway through the third. Green and Korver each hit 3s in a third quarter where Philly was as sharp as its been all season.
"Every opportunity I get, I try to take advantage of it,'' Green said.
The Sixers made 13 of 18 shots (Green was 4-for-4), had a season-high point total for a quarter with 35 and doubled the Bucks on the boards after getting pounded in the first half.
When Alan Henderson sank a couple of free throws with a minute left, the Sixers turned an eight-point halftime deficit into a 10-point lead. It's the kind of turnaround the Eastern Conference-worst Sixers would love to have in their record.
The Sixers had nearly as many memorable moments in this game as they've had all season, keeping a sparse but enthusiastic crowd in their seats until the end.
If they left, they would have missed Miller's steal the ball in the backcourt, go around his back, then feed a streaking Green for a fastbreak layup and a 93-87 lead. Miller added a swift crosscourt pass to Iguodala, who was fouled as he knocked down a 3. He sank the free throw and the four-point play capped a 15-3 run for a 104-90 lead.
Boykins made an instant impact, dishing off to Bell on the right wing for a 3 to open the game. His first basket was a baseline jumper later in the quarter for a 14-4 lead. He scored on a nifty reverse layup off a steal that even got the Philly fans to cheer.
"I felt I did OK, but it's hard to say you play well when you lose,'' Boykins said. "I really wanted to come in tonight and help the team get the win.''.
Notes: Boykins, who arrived in Philly around 5 p.m., already considered the Nuggets old news. "Once I got traded from Denver, they were in the back of my mind,'' he said. ... The Sixers are 5-8 since trading Iverson. ... The Sixers twice scored 35 points in a quarter. ... More than a 3-point artist: Korver is holding a contest through Feb. 16th for fans to design a logo for his charitable foundation. More information is available at www.kylekorver.com.