With a playoff-like intensity in the air, the Milwaukee Bucks rallied in the fourth quarter and overtime to seal a 109-105 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, extending their win streak to five games, while bringing the 76ers' six-game winning streak to an end.
Giannis Antetokonmpo led the Bucks back from a 19-point deficit, with 32 points, while Donte DiVincenzo added 20 as all five starters scored in double figures.
Here are the key takeaways from tonight's thrilling contest:
A tale of two halves
The 76ers led by as many as 19 points in the second quarter and took a comfortable 45-31 lead into the half, thanks to a strong defensive effort through the first 24 minutes.
It was the lowest-scoring half of the season for the Bucks, who managed just 31 points on 12-of-45 shooting (26.7%) shooting and 1-of-17 from deep (5.9%), turning the ball over 13 times as they let the 76ers get whatever they wanted on their home floor.
Ben Simmons had the primary job of taking Antetokunmpo out of the game and he did just that, with the help of Matisse Thybulle and Tobias Harris, holding the reigning MVP to four points and recorded four turnovers in the first half.
Sixers' defense has Giannis SOOOO flustered & frustrated 😤 pic.twitter.com/Rrml43e4ej- NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 18, 2021
They came out of the break with a renewed sense of urgency, piling up the points in the hurry, scoring 34 points in the period - more than they scored in the entire first half, thanks to Antetokoumpo and DiVincenzo, before outscoring the 76ers 28-19 in the fourth.
Saucy Splash!!- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 18, 2021
Donte cuts the lead to single digits. pic.twitter.com/JWt9haq24A
Giannis takes over OT
After a slow start to the game, Giannis Antetokounmpo took over down the stretch, with an impressive performance in the fourth quarter and overtime.
After 3-pointers from Danny Green and Furkan Korkmaz brought the 76ers back to life at the end of regulation, Antetokounmpo took matters into his own hands, going on a 7-0 personal run in OT to complete the comeback win on the road.
Draining 3-pointers, getting to the rim, hitting fadeaways, the Greek Freak showed what he is capable of in a 'playoff-like' environment, putting his team in front 105-98 lead with 1:11 to go.
THE GREEK FREAK FOR THREE!! pic.twitter.com/BR4efkJAdq- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 18, 2021
He finished the night with 32 points, 15 rebounds and five assists on 13-of-22 shooting, recording his 29th double-double of the season and 18th game with 30+ points.
Milwaukee (26-14) has won five straight and 10 of their past 11 games.
Giannis tonight:- StatMuse (@statmuse) March 18, 2021
32 PTS (19 in 4Q and OT)
The Bucks overcame a 19-point deficit, their first win after trailing by 15+ points this season (0-9 before tonight). pic.twitter.com/tET2kmfQzH
DiVincenzo added 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Jrue Holiday added 19 points, Khris Middleton 15 and Brook Lopez 14 points and seven rebounds.
Seth Curry injury update
The 76ers will be sweating on the health of Seth Curry, who suffered a left ankle sprain in tonight's loss.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Curry slipped on a fast-break and appeared to be in pain, before heading back to the locker room, however, head coach Doc Rivers told reporters post-game, he didn't believe Curry had a "bad" sprain.
Curry played 26 minutes, posting 10 points, four rebounds and three assists for the 76ers, while Tobias Harris led the way with 19 points, Danny Green 18 and Ben Simmons a 13-point-12-assist, 10-rebound triple-double.
Dwight Howard added 13 points and 15 rebounds off the bench.
🇦🇺 @BenSimmons25 records his 3️⃣2️⃣nd career triple-double in the @sixers' OT loss to the Bucks- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) March 18, 2021
📊 13 PTS | 12 AST | 10 REB | 2 STL pic.twitter.com/Kh4k7rA963
Philadelphia will look to bounce back when they host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET., while the Bucks will look to extend their win streak to six games when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.
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