Giannis Explains Why Bucks Needed to Experience 12-Point Loss to 76ers

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 26, 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 25: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts during the second half of the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on December 25, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia 76ers won 121-109. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Giannis Antetokounmpo has the long game in mind. 

The Milwaukee Bucks were squashed by the Philadelphia 76ers 121-109 on Christmas Day, the Bucks' largest loss of the season, but the reigning NBA MVP remained optimistic when speaking with reporters afterward:

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

"We had to go through this today. We had to have our character tested...because the only way you get better is when you face adversity." https://t.co/NxziJ25YBR

Antetokounmpo registered 18 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, one block and one steal in the contest, but he was mostly held in check by Sixers center Joel Embiid:

ESPN @espn

Giannis was heated after getting poked in the eye 😡 https://t.co/FxjNCF17tA

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Embiid told Giannis to sit down 😬 (via @NBA) https://t.co/WFhj07nznX

StatMuse @statmuse

The Sixers defense gave Giannis a present to remember this Christmas. 🎁 0-7 from three (ties career low) 🎁 23-game streak with a three snapped 🎁 minus-18 in +/- (season low) 🎁 8-27 shooting (season low FG%) 🎁 2-11 when guarded by Embiid https://t.co/RAxTy2vyQ3

Embiid outshined everybody on the court: 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Joel Embiid (31 PTS, 11 REB) and the 76ers hand the league-leading Bucks their biggest loss of the season on #NBAXMAS, 121-109 https://t.co/SoQ4lHzCYR

The Bucks need not panic, though, as their 27-5 mark is still the best in the NBA. Milwaukee leads the 21-7 Boston Celtics, 22-8 Miami Heat and 23-10 Sixers atop the Eastern Conference. Not to mention, this is the same team that won 18 straight games before falling to Dallas on Dec. 16.

Philadelphia will travel to Milwaukee on Feb. 6 and Feb. 22. By then, point guard Eric Bledsoe (right fibula avulsion fracture) should be back to help an extra-motivated Antetokounmpo and the Bucks get revenge.