Antetokounmpo helps hot-shooting Bucks beat 76ers 117-104
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points, 14 rebounds and six assists and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 117-104 on Sunday night to move a step closer to the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks (56-22) have a two-game lead over Boston (54-24) with four games left. Boston won the season series with Milwaukee and has the tiebreaker. Philadelphia (51-27) is third in the East.
Brook Lopez scored 21 points, Khris Middleton had 19 and Jrue Holiday and Bobby Portis each added 18 as the Bucks shot 57.5%. Middleton also had nine assists.
Tyrese Maxey had 29 points and Joel Embiid 28 for the 76ers.
The Bucks bounced back three nights after a 140-99 home loss to Boston that matched their most-lopsided defeat of the season. The Bucks never trailed thanks to a blistering start that enabled them to build a 31-15 lead.
Milwaukee made its first first eight shots from the floor and 12 of its first 13. The Bucks were 5 of 5 from 3-point range during that stretch.
The Bucks eventually led by 20 during a first half in which they shot 67.4%.
After making their first five 3-point attempts of the night, the Bucks missed 14 of their next 15. But after the Bucks’ lead dwindled to four with about four minutes left in the third quarter, Bobby Portis ended the dry spell by sinking a 27-footer.
Milwaukee soon regained a double-digit advantage and broke the game open by going on a 16-2 run that began late in the third quarter and carried over to the final period. Antetokounmpo scored nine points during that stretch and capped the spurt with a basket putting the Bucks ahead 105-84 with 9:04 remaining.
76ers: Georges Niang went scoreless and missed his only two shots, both from 3-point range. Niang had gone a combined 9 of 14 from 3-point range in Philadelphia's last two matchups with the Bucks, which both resulted in victories for the 76ers. ... James Harden was held to 11 points after flirting with a triple-double in a 133-130 victory at Milwaukee on March 4. Harden had 38 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in the March 4 game.
Bucks: Grayson Allen left midway through the third quarter with a sprained right ankle. ... The Bucks observed Autism Acceptance Night on Sunday by lowering the decibel level of noise and in-game sounds, keeping the lights on for the entire game and not using any strobing lights. Bucks forward Joe Ingles and his wife, Renae, had unveiled upgraded sensory rooms at Fiserv Forum during a Thursday news conference. Their 6-year-old son, Jacob, has autism.
76ers: Host Boston on Tuesday night.
Bucks: At Washington on Tuesday night. ___
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