By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
Milwaukee 109, Philadelphia 108 (OT) – Box Score
Call me cynical, but I was glad the Sixers didn’t pull out the victory Sunday evening. Not when owner Josh Harris stepped to the podium earlier in the afternoon and lied about that fact that Jerry Colangelo had nothing to do with his son Bryan being brought in as the new President of Basketball Operations. As if we’re supposed to believe that it’s a coincidence and that the elder Colangelo resigning as Chairman as soon as Bryan comes on board wasn’t the completion of some scheme by Jerry to get his son another job.
So yes, I wanted to wipe the grin off Harris’ face as he sat courtside, using his family as a shield from the boos that did rain down on CEO Scott O’Neil. If that meant rooting against a Sixers comeback for one evening, so be it.
Which is a shame, because it shaped up to be an incredibly exciting game and a gutsy performance from the hometown Sixers. Brett Brown’s squad fought their way back from an 18-point deficit to finally take the lead on an Ish Smith dunk with 33 seconds left. Giannis Antetokounmpo tied it moments later with a drive to the hoop and Robert Covington’s potential game-winning three point attempt was off the mark.
Then, there was more tension in overtime, as a pair of Philadelphia threes trimmed a 7-point Milwaukee lead down to one. However, a flurry of three shots from the Sixers on the final possession all missed the mark, and the Bucks escaped with a win, albeit one meaningless to both clubs as this regular season winds down and they both prep for an early offseason. It was a heart-breaking loss for Sixers fans under most circumstances, unless you wanted to avoid having to suppress a gag reflex at the sight of another Josh Harris high-five.
- Khris Middleton tied his career-high with 36 points, to go along with 9 assists and 4 steals. He certainly justified the large contract the Bucks lavished him with last offseason.
- Point Giannis ridiculously stuffed the stat sheet (even on a poor shooting night) with 14 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, and 5 blocks. I can’t believe Sam Hinkie (and absolutely no one else) passed on him in the draft.
- John Henson come off the bench for 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 24 minutes. Maybe one day I’ll understand why the Bucks have never given him a fair shake as a starter.
- Jerami Grant tied a career-high with 21 points, alongside 3 blocks. Work on that shot night and day this offseason, Jerami. You could be something.
- Ish Smith narrowly missed a triple-double with a team-best 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists, plus 3 steals, 2 blocks, and (on the negative side) 6 turnovers. Two more games of tape to collect in order to help decide what to do with the pending free agent.
- Nerlens Noel recorded 18 points on 9-12 shooting, 13 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block. We’ll see if Bryan Colangelo decides Noel is worthy of an extension this offseason.
Mercifully, just two more games. Tuesday night in Toronto is next.