Road Reaction: Bucks 97, 76ers 77
Much like their last road game, the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t have to play their best to win comfortably Wednesday night at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.
The lowly 76ers didn’t put up much of a fight in the second half, allowing the Bucks to cruise to a 97-77 victory in a game that was even more of a rout than the final score indicates.
Milwaukee has now won five consecutive road games for the first time since March of 2012. The Bucks last won six straight away from home in 2010.
1 big moment: If there was a defining moment Wednesday it came at the beginning of the third quarter. The Bucks opened the second half on a 9-0 run to turn a 14-point halftime advantage into a 62-39 lead.
2 top performers: Khris Middleton finished with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. The third-year forward added three rebounds, three assists and five steals in 27 minutes. Middleton helped the Bucks to a 27-11 lead after one by pouring in eight first-quarter points.
Not much went the way of Philadelphia on Wednesday, but K.J. McDaniels led the 76ers with 14 points and six rebounds.
3 key stats: Philadelphia was simply dreadful from the field, hitting just 25 of its 83 field-goal attempts and 2 of its 25 attempts from beyond the arc.
The Sixers’ 30.1 field-goal percentage was the worst by a Bucks opponent since Seattle shot 29.4 percent against Milwaukee on Feb. 27, 2005. The 76ers were 4 for 38 (10.5 percent) in shot attempts outside of the paint.
Milwaukee finished with a season-high 32 assists on 41 made field goals. Led by Zaza Pachulia’s season-high seven assists, eight of the 10 players who saw the floor for the Bucks had multiple assists.
Turnovers continued to be a problem for the Bucks, as Milwaukee coughed the ball up a season-high 26 times. The Bucks have turned the ball over 20 or more times in seven games this season.
Said: "At times we have a tendency to let up a bit in the second half when we have nice leads. We played well in the first half, and I thought we needed to keep our intensity up and continue to work on what we needed to work on to build to become a better team." — Bucks guard O.J. Mayo
"We tried to work on our execution. Sometimes things can get sloppy when you are winning by a certain amount, but we were trying to work on different plays and different things that we can use in the future. I think some of the plays we did do worked good." — Bucks guard Jerryd Bayless
"You have to be professional. We have no room to take anyone lightly. This was a game for us to get better and also to continue to understand what it takes to be able to win on the road." — Bucks coach Jason Kidd
Seen: After playing 15 minutes in the first half, Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t see the floor in the second half. In the midst of a stretch of four games in five days, Kidd used the rout as a way to give his second-year forward some rest.
"Just resting," Kidd said. "The game we felt was in control. We’re playing four (games) in five (days) and five in seven. You have to try to find times to give guys a rest and that was a good time to give him a rest."
Kendall Marshall didn’t play at all for the first time since Dec. 2. Instead, Nate Wolters received the backup point guard minutes.
"Unfortunately, Kendall didn’t play tonight," Kidd said. "Nate came in, gave us a spark and played. That’s the way it has been all season."
Next: Milwaukee’s stretch of four games in five nights continues Friday when the Bucks host the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The Timberwolves entered Wednesday night’s game against Phoenix at 5-28, the worst record in the Western Conference.
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