Philadelphia, at the cost of a comeback initiated by James Harden, hot as embers in the last quarter with 19 of its 38 points scored, brought down (133-130) Milwaukee, leader in the East which remained on a series of 16 successes, Saturday in the NBA.
There are victories that have the value of messages sent. That of the Sixers, after erasing 18 units behind in the third quarter, to reverse everything in the next, by exploding the defense of the Bucks (48-31), has something to mark the spirits.
Firstly because it stops the impressive virtuous series of the 2021 champion. Secondly because it highlights mental resources not often observed in the team coached by Doc Rivers, as talented as it is.
James Harden was the happy symbol of this, he the unrepentant scorer, triple top scorer in the league (2018, 2019, 2020) when he was blazing in Houston, and whom we had not seen so untenable and decisive for a long time. “The Beard” (the bearded man) has certainly not always been as skilful in the field (11/26) as at free throws (11/11), but he was in all the good shots (10 assists) in money time.
In his wake, Joel Embiid was not left out with 31 points and 10 assists. It was his award-winning banderilla 41 seconds from the end who put ahead of his own in the score.
Tyrese Maxey (26 pts) also contributed, Philly also having been able to count on a replacement on fire at the right time, with George Niang author of a 4/5 behind the arc in the final period.
– Vain awakening of Giannis –
And it took all these combined efforts to defeat the awakening at the same time of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who stacked 18 of his 34 points. Until then, the “Greek Freak” (the Greek monster) had let Jrue Holiday (26 pts, 13 assists) and Brook Lopez (26 pts) manhandle the 76ers.
This setback does not prevent Milwaukee from retaining its first place, ahead of Boston.
Philadelphia remains 3rd ahead of Cleveland, which offered a walkover against Detroit (114-90).
The Cavs, who were up to 35 units ahead, relied on Darius Garland (21 pts) and Donovan Mitchell (20 pts), facing the Pistons defeated for the sixth time in a row, among which Killian Hayes (5 pts, 5 assists), holder, tried to exist.
Miami (7th), which remained on two setbacks, revived with an authoritative success at the expense of Atlanta (117-109).
Bam Adebayo, very skilful (10/12 in shooting), was the locomotive of the Heat with 30 points scored, adding 11 rebounds to his pocket. Tyler Herro (20 pts) and Jimmy Butler (15 pts, 11 rbds) contributed.
On the Hawks side (8th), the star duo Trae Young and Dejounte Murray were failing, with only 18 cumulative points and 5/27 on shots.
Toronto (9th) for its part won in Washington (116-109), thanks to Fred van Vleet (25 pts, 10 assists, 3 interceptions, 2 blocks), author of two crucial baskets behind the arc in overtime .
In the West, the red lantern Houston tasted victory again, after eleven defeats in a row, against the penultimate San Antonio (122-110).