For the second time in just a span of a few games, the Bucks fell yet again to the Philadelphia 76ers at home, this time 114-109.
Despite a massive effort from Greg Monroe who registered a season-high 28 points coupled with nine rebounds, Milwaukee could not surpass the Joel Embiid-less Sixers.
Things began to turn south for the Bucks midway through the second quarter. Up 51-41, Philadelphia went on a 7-0 run. In the final nine minutes of the quarter, the Sixers posted 32 points compared to the Bucks’ fractional seven points. At the half, the score was 72-58 in advantage of Philadelphia.
After the break, things continued to look bleak for Milwaukee, as at some points, they faced a 15-point deficit. However, by the end of the quarter, the Sixers’ lead was cut to just six at 88-82.
The Bucks continued to chip away at the lead early on in the final period. A Greg Monroe tip-shot at the 8:19 mark slashed the lead to just one point and 27 seconds later, the Bucks would knot things up at 94 apiece.
Matthew Dellavedova would make his impact on Australia Day with 5:56 remaining when he connected on a 3-pointer, providing the Bucks a one-point lead. From there, the two teams would keep trading leads while the clock continued to dwindle down. With 79 seconds remaining, Milwaukee held a three point lead. However, Philadelphia would knock down a pair of free throws on the ensuing two possessions, granting them the lead at 110-109.
Turnovers were crucial for the Bucks in the final moments. Giannis Antetokounmpo was unable to corral an inbounds pass, as it tipped off his fingers and into the backcourt, yielding a violation. Then, with 35 seconds left, Greg Monroe put up an errant in-bounds pass for Antetokounmpo and it sailed out of bounds, providing Philadelphia the ball. The Sixers would capitalize on a Nerlens Noel jump shot.
The Bucks took the in-bounds pass immediately down the floor and Antetokounmpo put up a questionable pull-up 3-pointer which bounced off the rim and into the arms of Ersan Ilyasova. The former Buck would ice the game with a pair of free throws.
It was an off night for the Bucks All-Star, as the Greek Freak really did not make an offensive impact on the game and seemed to force things at times. Jabari Parker contributed with 20 points. For the Sixers, Gerald Henderson led the way with 20 points off the bench.