Next man up
It’s the mantra the Sixers have continued to repeat all season, but it was never quite as meaningful asWednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks. JJ Redick was a late-scratch, and Marco Belinelli started in his place, opening the game with a three and setting the stage for a first quarter full of the Sixers scorching Milwaukee from the three-point line.
Belinelli was hitting from deep, along with Dario Saric, T.J. McConnell, and Justin Anderson, who finished with a game-high 25 points. When it was announced Redick would not play, there was some concern that the Sixers’ third seed would be in danger. But the Sixers shot 72.7 percent from three in the opening quarter and never let up.
Markelle Fultz’s triple-double
The Sixers’ No. 1 overall pick earned his first career triple-double in his 14th game, the final game of the regular season. He finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. That the feat came in the garbage time of a blowout means nothing at all in the grand scheme of things because Fultz’s was a part of the first-quarter unit that extended the lead over the Bucks while Ben Simmons was on the bench in foul trouble. Heading into the playoffs, it bodes well that Fultz continues to remain aggressive and confident.
Dario Saric is back
After a couple games out because of an elbow injury, then going out in the first few seconds in Atlanta on Tuesday with a cut lip and chipped tooth, Dario Saric returned refreshed and ready for the postseason. He finished the night with 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting in 28 minutes.