Joel Embiid drops 42, Giannis posts 32 as 76ers survive dollars in Thriller | Launderer’s report

AP Photo/Morry Gash

In a game that could have playoff implications, the Philadelphia 76ers won 123-120 over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

Going into the game, the Bucks and Sixers were third and fifth in the Eastern Conference, respectively, and separated by just one game.

The playoffs are still months away, but this result could prove beneficial for Philadelphia since the margin between the teams could be slim when the standings are finalized. Their season streak is now split, with the rubber match set to take place on March 29.

For Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, the way Joel Embiid dominated on the inside could be a worrying sign. Embiid had his ninth 40-point game of the season.

Sixers Stats @SixersStats

This is @sixers @JoelEmbiid’s ninth game lead the league this season with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds.

They are second in a season by a 76er behind HOFer Wilt Chamberlain 18 in 1965-66.

h/t @Stathead


Notable performers

Joel Embiid, C, 76ers: 42 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, one steal

Tyrese Maxey, PG, 76ers: 19 points, two rebounds, four assists

Giannis Antetokounmpo, PF, Bucks: 32 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, three steals, one block

Jrue Holiday, PG, Bucks: 24 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal


Sixers Turn Tide with the Second Quarter Blitz

With 4:56 to go in the first half, the Bucks led by 12 points, 53-41. The Sixers then beat Milwaukee 28-8 over the rest of the quarter to take a 69-61 lead at halftime.

Furkan Korkmaz crowned the offensive outburst with a knockback at the buzzer.

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

flying furk! pic.twitter.com/1lp2ME61ce

The comeback was a stark contrast to Philly’s last game, a 48-point loss at the hands of the Boston Celtics.

Embiid played to tap and looked quite like a favorite for MVP. Without Tyrese Maxey, it could have been another loss. The 6’2″ guard provided much-needed support for Embiid which was the difference in the second quarter when the Sixers started to turn things around.

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck

Just an absolute clinic from Embiid and Maxey to end this half.

Jas Kang @jaskang21

Great last 5 minutes of halftime for the Sixers. Beat the Bucks 28-8 to take a 69-61 lead at the break. I can’t wait to see how much Maxey improves as a goalscorer with Harden in the squad.

During that run, Maxey stopped and hit a three-pointer that knocked James Harden off the bench:

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

Coach Harden approved. 👏 pic.twitter.com/qjZk5UyTP8

Speaking of Harden, he must have enjoyed seeing Embiid back Serge Ibaka and then nail a three-point step back:

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

just in time. pic.twitter.com/zsuPpgZVHF

Imagine how unstoppable the 7’0″ center will be if he becomes a regular tool in his arsenal.

As much as the Sixers have accomplished so far – and despite questions about how head coach Doc Rivers will seamlessly integrate him into the offense – this game could have been a reminder of why. which Harden’s presence will be so vital.

Once Philadelphia fell behind in the fourth, the offense could only get through Embiid because of the way the Bucks were defending him. Having Harden as an option will definitely add a different dimension to the Sixers offense.


Balanced Dollars Can’t Lag

Although Milwaukee didn’t get a ton of results from its bench, all five Bucks starters scored at least 17 points.

Unsurprisingly, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday led the way. The contributions of Bobby Portis and Jordan Nwora were just as valuable as they helped ease the pressure on the team’s top stars.

Milwaukee dollars @deer

Don’t mess with Bobby!! 😤 pic.twitter.com/wcB0Or2y0A

Milwaukee dollars @deer

Jordan hot of three tonight!! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/wUL4ahHJh8

Once the fourth quarter arrived, however, it was often up to Antetokounmpo and Holiday to deliver in the biggest moments.

As Philly clung to a three-point lead with 7:21 on the clock, Tobias Harris was only too happy to goad Giannis into a three-pointer. The two-time MVP made Harris regret that decision.

Milwaukee dollars @deer

Shooters shoot. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/TzAMMsH9EQ

Then it was Holiday’s turn to give Milwaukee the lead in the final six minutes.

NBA @NBA

Jrue Holiday knocks down the 3-ball to put the @Bucks up 2 late!

Live on TNT pic.twitter.com/X7EIrNIRFS

The Fiserv forum was rocking after Antetokounmpo again logged in from the depths.

NBA @NBA

Giannis (30 PTS) overturns his 2nd three-pointer in the 4th quarter!

He had 14 points in the fourth quarter for the @Bucks on DTT pic.twitter.com/PPS5DW1HpD

But the Bucks couldn’t stop Embiid forever, and they committed a pair of turnovers on consecutive possessions when they were able to at least tie the game.


And after?

The Bucks and Sixers are both heading to the All-Star break. Philadelphia will return to action Feb. 25 on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Milwaukee will host the Brooklyn Nets on February 26.