Harwrecked Bucks

By: Kylan Watson

Reeling from their loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, the Philadelphia 76ers traveled to Milwaukee to face the Bucks for the third time this season. When Philly needed it, James Harden turned back the clock and put the Bucks to bed in the fourth quarter. He drowned them with some clutch buckets to drag the Sixers over the finish line tonight as they beat Milwaukee Bucks in a thriller 133-130.

The Sixers did not start this game off well, they were missing shots early in the game and did not get back on defense. This allowed the Bucks to jump out to an early lead before the Sixers could even settle into the game. Early on Brook Lopez was the man who was killing Philly. He attacked the overmatched defender after they switched and scored 26-points tonight. His scoring kept the Bucks ahead throughout this game and he was one of the players responsible for their 18-point lead that seemed insurmountable with the way Philly was playing through three quarters. Whenever the Sixers play a high-powered team its always a role player that goes off and tonight it was Lopez. The Sixers were able to turn up the heat later in the game which gave them enough time to fight back into this game.

Despite Lopez and the Bucks going nuts in the first three quarters the Sixers owned the fourth quarter. Thanks to James Harden who turned back the clock in this contest. He scored 38-points (His highest point total as a Sixer), had 10-assists, and hit five/nine three-pointers in the contest. Philly needed all 38 of his points tonight to erase an 18-point lead that the Bucks had at the end of the third quarter. He was able to attack the basket and used his burst to get to the foul line. Additionally, whenever they gave him enough room to get a shot off, he did. In one particular sequence tonight, the ball got stuck in his hands as the shot clock was about to expire and he hit a rainbow three-pointer to bring the Sixers within three-points. If Harden can perform like he did tonight in the postseason the Sixers will not only be a hard out, but a title contender. His playmaking was equally as important he found Embiid (31-points, also had 10 assists) late in the fourth quarter for the dagger three that sealed the game for Philly. The duo became the first duo since 1965 to both have a 30-plus point scoring night and 10 assists in a Sixers uniform.  Embiid’s defense was clutch tonight as he shut down Giannis Antetokounmpo (scored 34-points, only made nine/21 shots tonight) late in the game. He forced him into a traveling violation that gave the ball back to Philly and ended in two clutch Embiid free-throws. When he is locked in there are not many players in the league that will still be effective on the offensive side and Giannis was not at the end of the game.

This is a statement victory for the Sixers and maybe the best win of the season for them. They grinded out a victory and handed the Bucks their first loss since January 21st, 2023. When it looked bad for the Sixers throughout this game Harden, Embiid, and Maxey came through tonight and dragged them to the victory despite losing both PJ Tucker (Back spasm) and Tobias Harris (right calf tightness) to two different injuries.  They were able to get this victory tonight because of Georges Niang (16-points and hit five three-pointers tonight) who found himself tonight and broke himself out of his shooting slump. He was big tonight and gave Philly the clutch three-pointers they needed to sink the Bucks tonight. For the majority of this game the trio of Harden, Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey (26-points) did most of the scoring in tonight’s game but when Niang was needed, he made some clutch buckets to keep Philly on top. When he is on from the three-point line he takes the team’s ceiling to another level and he did that tonight.

The Sixers will now prepare to face the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, they will need to keep the ball moving to take advantage of the aggressive defensive play of the Pacers. That will help them find high-percentage shots to stay ahead of Indiana. Additionally, they will need to stay attached to the Pacers who have Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton who are not afraid to pull from beyond the arc and make them pay for leaving them open. If they want to get their 42nd victory of the season.

One thought on “Harwrecked Bucks

Agree or disagree let your thoughts be heard!!!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.