MILWAUKEE — A 20-point lead turned into a defeat Sunday as the Bucks pulled off a 118-110 comeback win over the Sixers.
What’s one way to reclaim a home game at home? Closing the third quarter on a 21-0 run is a good suggestion. The Bucks erased an 86-72 Sixers advantage and held them scoreless in the final 6:32 of the third. The Sixers shot 0 for 8 and committed six turnovers during that pivotal stretch (26 on the night).
Giannis Antetokounmpo, the NBA’s third-leading scorer, dropped a game-high 35 points. At one point when Antetokounmpo scored, he went over to the Sixers' bench in celebration. Antetokounmpo neared a triple-double with nine rebounds and seven assists.
The Sixers dropped to 34-28; the Bucks improved to 34-29. The Sixers entered the night 1.5 games in front of the Bucks in the sixth spot. With a win, they could have moved up into the fifth seed ahead of the Wizards, who lost to the Pacers earlier Sunday.
• Dario Saric was lights out in the first quarter. He shot a perfect 6 for 6 from the field (including a pair of threes) for 15 points in his first nine minutes. Saric actually didn’t attempt a shot in the second quarter. He finished the game with a team-high 25 points (9 for 11 from the field, 4 for 5 from three) and six rebounds in 32 minutes.
• Ben Simmons tied a career-high 15 assists along in his 24th double-double of the season. He posted 12 points and five boards. Simmons accounted for all but 11 of the Sixers’ dimes.
• Even though the Sixers took double-digit leads, this game never felt like it was a lock (as proven later).
• Sixers fans traveled to Milwaukee, via a trip organized by The Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast, looking to overshadow Bucks’ fans with plenty of “Trust the Process” cries. It was easy to tell where they were sitting as they resonated in the arena. Bucks fans countered with “Average Joe,” among other chants, and “Process This” when the game ended.
• Injury scares: Embiid knocked knees with Khris Middleton with 46 seconds to play in the first quarter while Middleton was running through a screen. Embiid hit the ground, walked around on his own but was favoring his knee. The Sixers quickly took him out of the game. Embiid was looked at by the trainers on the bench and returned to start the second quarter. He ended up playing 31 minutes and posted 19 points and eight rebounds.
In the fourth quarter, Embiid was called for a flagrant-1 foul on Tyler Zeller as he dunked on a fast break. Zeller slammed into the ground. He eventually got up to shoot the free throw and then left the game.