Bucks beat Sixers: Giannis wins MVP Duel with Embiid with Buzzer-Beating Block

Tobias Harris

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Tobias Harris celebrates after his big hit against Milwaukee on March 29 in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia 76ers fell a few short steps into what was most likely a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 118-116.

That’s a slogan to begin with. James Harden carried them through a difficult first half, with a timely goal from Tobias Harris. The Sixers led by 11 points before taking a 10-point advantage into the dressing room after halftime. They can’t keep it.

Joel Embiid became the MVP while parrying a tough defensive effort from Brook Lopez. The All-Star Center finished with 29 points and 14 bounces. Harden had 32 points and 9 assists, with Harris scoring a brace (22 points, 11 rebounds).

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5 things we learned: Sixers vs. Bucks

1. Big Game James: James Harden was probably sick of hearing about his disappearing act during the big games. Two days after a looting in Phoenix, The Beard puts on his cape and shows why he might be the missing piece in the championship puzzle. Harden scored 12 points thanks to 80% shooting in the first quarter and breathed life into a deadly team at the time. He received a pass for missing a potentially three-win game in the final seconds.

2. Paul Millsap, First Sub: Before kick-off, Doc Rivers was asked if he was “comfortable” with the Sixers’ depth at the backup center. The head coach said, “I feel comfortable.” DeAndre Jordan spent most of his time there when Joel Embiid needed a break. Well, Jordan can’t be found compared to Milwaukee. Paul Millsap was the first extra and Jordan never left the bench. Millsap held his ground in the first half, then took all he could handle – namely from Giannis Antetokounmpo – in the second half.

3. Welcome back, Tobias: It’s time to stop judging Tobias Harris by the size of his $180 million contract. He is still developing with a new role as fourth pick. He shocked on Tuesday, creating shots for himself in the lane and backtracking to take the opening treble. And his defense is superb in saves, especially against Khris Middleton. This is the Tobias Harris that the Sixers will need in the post-season.

4. MVP vs. MVP: While Embiid and Giannis rarely hedge against each other in this matchup, they certainly made their cases for MVP in every possible way. Sorry. No-look-aside. Step back three times. Fadeaways in the alley. Second chance point. Blocks. Voters have a tough decision between those two and Nikola Jokic. Antetokounmpo’s miraculous rejection of Embiid with 1.6 seconds left in the fourth round – overturned for scoring after review – determined the Sixers’ fate. No wonder the Bucks ran the spot with Embiid on the bench and Giannis in attack mode.

5. Good barometer: The Sixers could face the Bucks again in the final round of playoffs so this March game should be seen as a good yardstick. Philly fought hard for four innings, but the ball went to too many men. Attribution to Milwaukee: the defending NBA champions played like champions. “You hear everyone but Milwaukee,” Rivers said. “They were unlucky to win.”


https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-76ers/bucks-beat-sixers/ Bucks beat Sixers: Giannis wins MVP Duel with Embiid with Buzzer-Beating Block

Luke Plunkett

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