National Basketball Association
Philadelphia at Milwaukee
When: 8:30 PM ET, Saturday, February 22, 2020
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Philadelphia 76ers came out of the All-Star break and battled for an overtime home win on Thursday, pushing their streak to four in a row, but things are about to get tougher. The road-challenged 76ers will play six of their next eight away from home, beginning with a visit to the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.
Philadelphia is an NBA-best 26-2 at home after locking down on the defensive end in overtime against Brooklyn on Thursday and pulling out a 124-112 victory, but it is just 9-19 on the road. The 76ers' last road game was a 112-101 loss at Milwaukee on Feb. 6 that marked their fifth consecutive road setback and included a 6-of-26 shooting effort from All-Star center Joel Embiid, who was the star of Thursday's home triumph with 39 points and 16 rebounds. The Bucks dropped their final game prior to the All-Star break with superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo sitting out following the birth of his first child but looked like championship contenders again on Thursday, when All-Stars Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 61 points and 24 rebounds in a 126-106 win at Detroit. "It's important, obviously, coming off the All-Star break not being sloppy, just coming in, playing good basketball," Antetokounmpo told reporters. "Being up by 30 at the half, that's big. Being able to win this game by 20, we're just picking up from where we left from and that's really good because it puts everybody on the same page. We're here to play good basketball, we're here to win and we had a little break, but let's get back to it."TIME:
8:30 p.m. ET. TV:
ABC, TSNABOUT THE 76ERS (35-21):
Embiid drew plenty of criticism during an inconsistent and injury-plagued first 55 games but looked ready to carry the team on Thursday with fellow All-Star Ben Simmons (back tightness) sidelined. "I felt like the first part of the season I was trying to make sure everybody was comfortable, tried to take a step back," Embiid told reporters. "But if we are going to go somewhere, I've got to be one of the guys (doing it)." One of Embiid's most impressive performances in the first half of the season came at home against Milwaukee on Christmas Day, when he collected 31 points and 11 rebounds in a 121-109 victory.ABOUT THE BUCKS (47-8):
Milwaukee is pushing to become the third team in history to win 70 games in the regular season while trying to stay healthy up to the postseason and added an important piece back to the lineup on Thursday when George Hill (hamstring) returned from a seven-game absence. The veteran point guard contributed four points, three assists and three steals in 20 minutes. "He gives us so much organization and poise and leadership, so having him back is huge," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters of Hill. "Tried to play him some with (starting point guard Eric Bledsoe) tonight, too, get them a little bit of reps together. It's great to have him back."BUZZER BEATERS
1. Bucks C Brook Lopez is averaging 15.1 points in February after managing 9.4 in January.
2. 76ers SG Alec Burks scored 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting Thursday after scoring two points in his first game with the team on Feb. 11.
3. Milwaukee owns a 5-4 lead in the series since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.PREDICTION:
Bucks 116, 76ers 103
Stats and Records