Giannis’ 40 points help Milwaukee rally past Philadelphia

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by Aaryaman Dahiya

In a matchup of two of the Eastern Conference’s top teams, Antetokounmpo scored 40 points and had the game-winning block of Joel Embiid in the dying moments to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 118-116 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

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For the Bucks, Khris Middleton had 22 points and Jrue Holiday had 18 as they moved within a half-game of Miami for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Antetokounmpo and Harden traded first-half highlights, with Antetokounmpo dunking on Embiid with his left hand close to the end in the first quarter before a thunderous two-handed jam late in the second. With 35.7 seconds left in the first, Harden scored over Antetokounmpo with his trademark step-back 3 and then connected with Matisse Thybulle with a wonderful three-quarter court pass to set Thybulle up for an easy dunk.

Every time Milwaukee appeared to be pulling away, the 76ers responded with a three-pointer to keep the game close. With 49.8 seconds remaining, Embiid’s 3-pointer pulled Philadelphia within 117-116. Following a Brook Lopez turnover, Philadelphia had a chance to take the lead, but Embiid missed a 14-footer after a timeout.

For the 76ers, James Harden had 32 points and nine rebounds, and Embiid recovered from a slow start to finish with 29 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists. Philadelphia fell 112 points behind the Heat in the conference.

When asked about the block, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said, “Just a special block.”

Since the All-Star break, Milwaukee has been one of the NBA’s best teams, going 11-4 as it prepares for another postseason run. When it comes to NBA title contenders, Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers says he doesn’t hear enough about the Bucks.

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