March 17, 2019 / 10:36 PM / a month ago

76ers down Bucks to clinch playoff spot

EditorsNote: missing word in 5th graf

Mar 17, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid scored 40 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the visiting Philadelphia 76ers past the Milwaukee Bucks 130-125 on Sunday.

It was Embiid’s 52nd double-double and the 25th time he has scored at least 30 points and swept 10 rebounds in a game. He scored 18 points alone in the fourth quarter.

Jimmy Butler had 27 and JJ Redick 19 for the Sixers, who won their fourth in a row and officially clinched a playoff spot.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was terrific for the Bucks with a career-high 52 points to go along with 16 rebounds and seven assists. Khris Middleton added 19 points.

The Bucks played without guard Malcolm Brogdon, who will be sidelined for at least six weeks with a plantar fascia tear in his right foot.

The Sixers built a 62-53 lead at halftime thanks in large part to Embiid’s double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Antetokounmpo paced the Bucks with 17 points and seven rebounds. Middleton struggled offensively and missed eight of his 10 shots.

Antetokounmpo drove to the basket, nudged Boban Marjanovic out of the way and threw down a nasty dunk to get the Bucks within 81-74 with 5:04 left in the third quarter.

Antetokounmpo appeared to tweak his ankle with 1:40 remaining in the third but remained in the game to shoot the two free throws as the fans chanted “MVP!”

The Sixers still led 89-82 after three quarters.

Philadelphia came out aggressive in the fourth and extended its advantage to 98-86 with 9:34 left when Mike Scott drained a 3-pointer.

After Antetokounmpo reached the basket, got fouled and made one of two shots, the Bucks trailed 107-99 with 4:49 to go.

Butler responded in a big way with a 3-pointer to put the Sixers back ahead by 11.

Butler knocked down two more shots to stay hot and the Philadelphia lead was 116-103 with 3:02 remaining.

Slideshow (38 Images)

Leading 120-116, Embiid hit a trey from the top of the key for a seven-point lead with 34.9 seconds left.

Embiid made two free throws in the waning seconds to help seal the win.

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