Game Recap | Second Quarter Proves Difference in Loss to Bucks
For the second time in as many nights, it was the 76ers (2-3) against an equally aspirational Eastern Conference foe.
And even though the group managed to jump out to an inspired start, less than 24 hours after falling in a tough overtime battle in Detroit, the Milwaukee Bucks (4-0) proved to be too much.
During the first 12 minutes of play, the Sixers seized control, racing out to a 34-22 edge. They shared the ball (10 ast on 13 fgm), shot it well (48.1 fg%, 6-8 3fg), and were balanced.
But the trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo (32 pts, 18 reb, 10 ast), Brook Lopez (21 pts), and Khris Middleton (25 pts) keyed an explosive response.
The group combined for 40 of Milwaukee's 49 points in the second quarter, a burst that set the Bucks on course for a 123-108 victory.
“The second period, really, it’s hard to overcome that,” said Brett Brown. “Forty-nine points is a lot of points. That’s not who we are.”
Brown liked the disposition the Sixers competed with at the outset of the second half. The club just had a hard time scoring.
A 3-pointer from Dario Saric (15 pts, 7 reb) cut the deficit to eight with five minutes left in regulation. Milwaukee refused to take its foot off the gas.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” Brown said.
The Sixers were paced by Joel Embiid, who finished with 30 points and 19 rebounds. He became the franchise’s first player to reach those marks in the same game since Charles Barkley did so in November of 1991.
Ben Simmons was back in action after missing Tuesday’s stop in Motown because of lower back tightness. He posted his second triple-double of the year, with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists.
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‘Gram of the Game:
Always good to see a friendly, familiar face on the road.
After wrapping up their first of 13 back-to-backs on the season, the Sixers will be idle until Saturday, when they host the Charlotte Hornets. All-Star Kemba Walker has enjoyed one of the hottest starts to the new year, ranking second in the NBA in scoring (33.0 ppg) as of Wednesday. This off-season, Charlotte hired James Borrego, another former Brett Brown colleague from San Antonio, as its latest head coach.