Joel Embiid had 32 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and three blocked shots to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers past the Milwaukee Bucks 110-102 on Friday.
Tyrese Maxey added 24 points but didn’t return after halftime because of a sprained left foot. Georges Niang scored 17, Shake Milton contributed 15 and De’Anthony Melton had 10 along with seven rebounds and six assists.
The Sixers continued to compete without James Harden (strained tendon in foot). Tobias Harris was also a late scratch with left hip soreness.
The short-handed Bucks played without a number of key injured players like Khris Middleton (wrist), Joe Ingles (knee), Pat Connaughton (calf) and Wesley Matthews (hamstring).
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 25 points and 14 rebounds but shot just 4-of-15 from the free-throw line. Bobby Portis added 21 points and 11 rebounds and Brook Lopez scored 15 points. Jrue Holiday had 10 off the bench.
The Bucks led throughout the first half, but Maxey kept the Sixers close. Trailing 56-46, Maxey and Shake Milton sandwiched a Antetokounmpo layup with consecutive 3-pointers to cut Philadelphia’s deficit to six with 1:53 left in the second quarter.
Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 15 and Portis added 13 as they held a 62-55 advantage at halftime. The Bucks knocked down 8 of 17 shots from 3-point territory.
Maxey paced the Sixers with 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting but appeared to twist his foot and went to the locker room with 1:34 left in the first half.
Embiid was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul against Antetokounmpo with 5:48 remaining in the third.
Jordan Nwora hit a trey from the wing and Portis followed with a 3-pointer and the Bucks led 77-73 with 3:47 left.
But the Sixers responded with a 12-0 run and held an 89-84 advantage at the end of the third.
Portis hit a jumper with 6:31 to go and the Bucks led 97-94, but Embiid scored in the low post on the Sixers’ next possession.
Niang produced a three-point play with 4:58 remaining for a 99-97 Sixers advantage.
The Sixers went ahead 104-99 when Embiid dropped in a short jumper in the lane with 3:03 to go.
–Field Level Media