Bucks slip past sluggish Sixers

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Andre Iguodala missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the game. (Darren Hauck/AP)

MILWAUKEE - The 76ers sleepwalked through a game tonight that they could have won with their eyes closed.

When they finally awakened, the game was still there for the taking, but they couldn't snag it, losing to the Milwaukee Bucks, 91-88, at the Bradley Center.

Power forward Elton Brand missed two shots - one a point-blank layup - on the Sixers' penultimate possession, ostensibly sealing the loss. But the game officially ended on Andre Iguodala's missed three pointer at the buzzer.

Milwaukee rookie Brandon Jennings sank a lefty runner with 22.3 seconds remaining that proved to be the game-winner.

In this game, the Sixers looked as lost and listless as they have all season.

The loss came two nights after a defeat at home to the not-good Indiana Pacers. The back-to-back losses came on the heels of two victories following a starting lineup switch by Sixers coach Eddie Jordan.

The shuffle seemed to revitalize the Sixers. But whatever good feeling the team might have created with last week's lineup change has, quite officially, disappeared.

After leading by as many as nine points in the second quarter, the Sixers did not lead after the midpoint of the third.

The Sixers dropped to 15-30; the Bucks improved to 19-25.

Brand finished with 26 points, shooting 12 for 20. The Bucks received 18 points apiece from Jennings and guard Charlie Bell.

Although neither team played winning basketball in the first quarter, Milwaukee finished with a 20-19 lead despite shooting 30.8 percent from the field and making only eight field goals.

The Bucks held that lead because they committed only two turnovers, allowing the Sixers zero points off their mistakes. The Sixers, meanwhile, committed seven turnovers in a quarter filled with slapped-away possessions and sloppy passing.

The Sixers shot 52.9 percent, getting 11 of their 19 points from Brand.

In the second quarter, using their second unit, the Sixers built a nine-point lead. Forward Thaddeus Young slashed to the rim and grabbed offensive boards while big man Marreese Speights made his free throws and also crashed the glass.

At one point in the second quarter, the Sixers had a 28-12 rebounding advantage. But whatever advantage - rebounding or otherwise - the Sixers appeared to be building was quickly negated with more turnovers and poor shot selection.

By halftime, the Bucks were ahead, 48-46. They led despite shooting 40.4 percent from the field and being outrebounded by 31-16.

In the first half, the Sixers snagged 11 offensive rebounds but committed 11 turnovers.

Jennings went scoreless in the first quarter, missing his first three shots. Jennings began driving right, finishing with his left hand, and scored eight points in the second quarter.

Brand (14 points) and Young (10) were the only two players for either team scoring in double figures at the break. Iguodala, the Sixers' leading scorer this season, finished the half scoreless. He shot 0 for 3 with one turnover and one rebound.

In that first half, Iguodala's stat line was about as nonexistent as the on-court energy.

Milwaukee was playing for a second straight night, having lost a close game on Tuesday to the Mavericks in Dallas. The Sixers had not played since losing on Monday night to the Indiana Pacers.

 


Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844

or kfagan@phillynews.com.