First quarter flurry
Some stats: 76.2 percent from the field, 57.1 percent on three-pointers, 11 assists on 16 made buckets, 12 rebounds, and three blocks. The Sixers played out of their minds in the opening 12 minutes to take a 43-31 lead. That kind of production is clearly not sustainable, but as the postseason nears this is the kind of quarter to look to for what can be accomplished when the Sixers are firing from all cylinders.
The Bucks outscored the Sixers 33-14 in the third quarter. The 14 points tied a season-low for points scored in a single regulation quarter by the Sixers. Milwaukee took 11 points off the Sixers nine turnovers in the third quarter. Everything that was going right in the early part of the game was going wrong for the Sixers in the third. They shot just 23.5 percent from the floor and had just four field goals as the Bucks finished the quarter with 21-0 run. After scoring a scorching 72 points in the first half, the Sixers only managed 38 points through the rest of the game. The first and second half were completely night and day.
Dario Saric remains strong
Saric started out the night 6-of-6 and scored 15 points in the Sixers explosive first quarter. By the time Saric had racked up his 15 points the Bucks only had 14 as a team. As the Sixers began to falter in the game, Saric had fewer touches and opportunities. He still managed to finish with a team-high 25 points to go with six rebounds and a block. Saric has 49 double-digit scoring games this season (a 40-game streak was brought to an end Friday against Charlotte).
The four-point play
Marco Belinelli slipped in and was just barely able to keep possession of the ball so that it didn’t become a turnover before swinging it to the right corner where Ersan Ilyasova worked to create enough space to get a shot off before the expiration of the shot clock. He was clipped by Khris Middleton, but was somehow still able to not only get up the shot, but sink with 1:38 left in the second quarter.. This is not a play that would have been thought very likely with the Sixers’ early season reserve unit. With the additions of Belinelli and Ilyasova the Sixers have a higher level of talent and experience. When the Sixers’ heavily used starters are being rested there is a lot more confidence with guys like Belinelli and Ilyasova on the floor than say Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and the now-Pacer Trevor Booker.
Ersan for t̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ four! pic.twitter.com/Vmen5YpmTc
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 5, 2018
Turnovers are Sixers demise
The Sixers committed a season-high 27 turnovers that turned into 35 points for the Bucks. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and JJ Redick combined for 18 of the Sixers turnovers. The Sixers seemed like they were getting a little bit of a handle on the turnover problems lately, with only six games in 2018 with 18-or-more turnovers before Sunday night. Brett Brown often points out that the Sixers lead the league in passing so they are bound to have high amount of turnovers, but 27 is just too many, and against the Bucks there were more than a handful that were just careless or lazy.