National Basketball Association
Milwaukee at Philadelphia
When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, January 20, 2018
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia 76ers' hot stretch pushed them into the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference halfway through the season. The Sixers will try to leapfrog another team in the standings when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.
An 89-80 win at East-leading Boston on Thursday gave Philadelphia six wins in its last seven games and marked the squad's second consecutive victory over the conference's elites, having topped Toronto at home three days earlier. "We feel like we're right there with them," center Joel Embiid told reporters of the Celtics and Raptors. "I don't know what seed we're going to be, but that's a potential matchup in the playoffs, so you always want to come out and like try to dominate, let them know that it's not going to be easy." Embiid might be licking his chops going up against a Bucks team that can struggle at times against big men, a trend that played out when Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside went for 27 points and 13 rebounds in a 106-101 win at Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Sixers and Bucks are meeting for the first time this season after splitting four encounters in 2016-17, with the road team winning each time.TV:
7:30 p.m. ET, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee), NBCS PhiladelphiaABOUT THE BUCKS (23-21):
Milwaukee has a leader in do-everything forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, but coach Jason Kidd is hoping to see a bit more from point guard Eric Bledsoe, at least from a vocal standpoint. "He's just telling me things that he's done throughout his career," Bledsoe told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's been a leader, man. It's easier said than done, but at the same time leaders aren't always liked on the team. Sometimes you've got to be a little (expletive) out there on the floor, so the team can respond to that. It's really not to show you're better than anyone or anything like that; they always know it's coming from a good place." Bledsoe was 2-of-13 from the floor in the loss to Miami and is 8-for-34 from 3-point range over a span of six games.
ABOUT THE 76ERS (21-20):
Embiid celebrated his first All-Star Game nomination by shooting 10-for-19 at Boston, while his fellow starters were 13-for-33. Backup point guard T.J. McConnell continued a hot stretch of his own with 15 points - all in the second half - and he is averaging 15 points while shooting 59.4 percent over the last three games. Meanwhile, starting point guard Ben Simmons is at 12 points and 3.7 assists in the same span, both well below his season averages in each category.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Philadelphia F Dario Saric has scored in double figures in 21 straight games after failing to do so in 10 of his first 19 contests.
2. Antetokounmpo averaged 21 points, nine rebounds and 4.5 assists against the Sixers last season.
3. Milwaukee won 11 of the last 13 meetings.PREDICTION:
76ers 108, Bucks 102
Stats and Records