Giannis, Bucks Rally to Beat Tobias Harris, 76ers in Overtime

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIMarch 18, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, left, steals the ball from Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Milwaukee Bucks made progress toward their quest for the top seed in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday, defeating the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers 109-105 and snapping the team's six-game winning streak in the process.

Philadelphia's Furkan Korkmaz forced overtime with a tying three with 1.1 seconds left, capping a 9-2 run for Philadelphia in the final 40.1 seconds of play. But Philadelphia, which led for much of the game, couldn't hang on in overtime, as Giannis Antetokounmpo went on a personal 7-0 run in the extra period to secure the win.

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

ARE YOU FURKAN KIDDING ME?! https://t.co/hbrBzpZd2i https://t.co/86NYPHl3wa

Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA

Giannis with 7 straight, including his first 3 of the night, then sits at center court to celebrate. Bucks lead 105-98 with 1:10 left i OT. Timeout Sixers.

Antetokounmpo posted a double-double with 32 points and 15 rebounds for the 26-14 Bucks, who are now winners of five straight.

For the 28-13 76ers, Tobias Harris led with 19 points and nine rebounds.


Notable Performers

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: 32 PTS, 15 REB
  • Tobias Harris, 76ers: 19 PTS, 9 REB
  • Jrue Holiday, Bucks: 19 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST
  • Danny Green, 76ers: 18 PTS, 6 REB


76ers Suffer Late Collapse Against Antetokounmpo

Philadelphia hasn't had to game-plan for containing back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo yet this season. But when they were thinking about this meeting in the back of their minds, the 76ers probably envisioned Joel Embiid being a part of it in some way.

When the two teams played last season, Embiid was tasked with covering Antetokounmpo more often than any other Philadelphia player, according to Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice. Behind him, it was Al Horford, who is now with the Oklahoma City Thunder. That meant it would really be a new ballgame against Milwaukee on Wednesday.

With Ben Simmons in charge of keeping Antetokounmpo in check, the 76ers had little trouble flying out to a 45-31 halftime lead. They outshot the Bucks from the field, hitting 41.3 percent of attempts overall and 35.7 percent from three.

The 76ers limited Antetokounmpo to just four points by the break, days after the star posted a triple-double for the third consecutive game.

NBC Sports Philadelphia @NBCSPhilly

Sixers' defense has Giannis SOOOO flustered & frustrated 😤 https://t.co/Rrml43e4ej

NBC Sports Philadelphia @NBCSPhilly

Giannis is on the struggle bus 🤣 https://t.co/nvlfqg4bQk

Harris had another strong outing offensively, leading Philadelphia with 10 points at the half.

NBC Sports Philadelphia @NBCSPhilly

two beautiful passes lead to the PERFECT finish from Tobi! https://t.co/SaB8ZNMGGr

But for all of their defensive success in the first half, the offensive side of their game suffered heading down the stretch. Milwaukee was able to overcome its deficit early after the break, with every Bucks starter scoring in double digits.

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck

As good as Simmons' defense has been on Giannis in this game, the offensive side has been almost equally bad

Rich Hofmann @rich_hofmann

Positive side for Ben Simmons: the best defense on Giannis I think we've ever seen him play. Has some help, but holding up 1-on-1 more than we've seen. But a pretty rough offensive game from Simmons: 3-11 from the field, zero free throw attempts, 10 assists and 6 turnovers.

Philadelphia's collapse was punctuated when Seth Curry, who has been dealing with an ankle issue throughout the season, headed to the locker room late in the fourth quarter. The team later announced he would not return after suffering a left ankle sprain.

He dropped 10 points in his 26 minutes on the court.


Bucks Overcome Slow Start

The Bucks were off to a miserable start, missing 18 of 21 shots leading up to the midway point of the second quarter. They didn't record their first field goal of the frame until there was 6:26 left, with the only points leading up to then stemming from a pair of Jrue Holiday free throws.

They ended the first half by shooting just 25 percent from the field and hitting one shot from beyond the arc on 17 attempts, accruing just 31 points in 24 minutes. That's a dismal number for any team, but it's particularly eyebrow-raising when you consider that the Bucks are the league's second-most productive offense, with an average of 119.7 points per game, and they were playing against the Embiid-less 76ers.

brianseltzer @brianseltzer

Tonight is the lowest-scoring first half of the season for Bucks. @sixers held Milwaukee to 26.7 FG%, 1-17 3FG, and forced 13 TOV while giving up 12 FGM. Bucks entered game 2nd in NBA in scoring (117.3 ORTG), 3rd in shooting (48.7 FG%), and 4th in 3-point shooting (39.0 3FG%).

Holiday was the star for Milwaukee in the first half, single-handedly saving their second quarter and leading all scorers with 12 points at the break. Khris Middleton was next, though he only had seven points on 3-of-9 shooting.

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Jrue a m https://t.co/7Evl8uBU7j

Antetokounmpo overcame his struggles in the third quarter, dropping nine points, while Donte DiVincenzo overtook the team lead in scoring with 15 points. He ended the night with 20.

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Saucy Splash!! Donte cuts the lead to single digits. https://t.co/JWt9haq24A

Altogether, the Bucks posted 34 points in the third quarter—more than their first- and second-quarter totals combined—to encroach within nine points of Philadelphia, which once led by as many as 19 points.

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Unstoppable. https://t.co/6je9Ze3QPF

In the fourth, everything came together for the Bucks. They opened the quarter on a 6-2 run and by the time there were under eight minutes left to play, they managed to get the lead back and hold on to it, asserting their dominance over the top team in the East after a tough start.

Benjamin Solak @BenjaminSolak

Congratulations to Giannis for needing overtime to get over 25 points against the Embiid-less Sixers


What's Next?

Philadelphia will host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.

The Bucks head home to face the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.