EditorsNote: Corrects to 31 in 3rd graf; slight tweaks in 7th and 8th grafs; removes “Josh” from 10th graf; other minor tweaks
Joel Embiid had 31 points and 11 rebounds to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers past the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks 121-109 on Wednesday.
It was Embiid’s seventh game this season with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Ben Simmons had 15 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds for the Sixers, who won their third in a row and tied a franchise record with 21 made 3-pointers. Tobias Harris scored 22 points and went 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. Josh Richardson added 18 points, Furkan Korkmaz scored 16 and Al Horford had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Khris Middleton led the Bucks with 31 points, while Giannis Antetokounmpo added 18 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, but he shot 8-for-27 and missed all seven 3-point attempts. George Hill scored 15 points as Milwaukee’s record dropped to 27-5.
The Sixers dominated the first half, as they jumped out to a 69-48 advantage thanks to 23 points and seven rebounds from Embiid. Philadelphia made 11 treys, their most in any half this season.
The score could have been even more lopsided if not for Hill’s 12 points off the bench, coming on 5-for-5 shooting.
Milwaukee’s deficit hit 25 points in the third, its largest of the season, and the Sixers extended the lead from there, going up 100-73 at the end of the third.
Antetokounmpo drove to the lane and scored to cut the lead to 102-85 with 8:04 remaining, capping a 12-0 run.
On the Sixers’ next possession, Korkmaz made a 3-pointer, their 18th of the game, to push the lead back to 20.
Antetokounmpo appeared to be accidentally poked in the eye by Richardson with 6:25 left and stayed down on the court for several minutes. Antetokounmpo then got up and was whistled for a technical foul for arguing with referee Tony Brothers.
Middleton hit a tough 3-pointer, and Sterling Brown added a dunk to close within 115-106 with 1:52 left. But Harris sealed the win on the next possession, beating the shot clock with a 3-pointer for a 12-point advantage.
—Field Level Media