The Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers faced off in a possible future NBA playoff matchup, and MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo proved the difference.
Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 35 points with nine rebounds and seven assists, while hitting 14 of 23 shots from the field as the Bucks overcame the error-prone 76ers 118-110 on Sunday.
The Bucks trailed by as many as 20 points in Milwaukee but capitalised on the 26 turnovers committed by the 76ers.
Eric Bledsoe added 22 points with seven assists and five rebounds, and Khris Middleton, John Henson, Jabari Parker and Tyler Zeller all scored at least 10 points, proving Milwaukee has a number of weapons.
Dario Saric led the 76ers with 25 points. Ben Simmons added 12 points and 15 assists for the 76ers, who had their run of back-to-back wins ended.
Despite the loss, the 76ers (34-28) remain a game ahead of Bucks (34-29) for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference.
SHINING LIGHTS IN SUNS LOSS
Suns stars Elfrid Payton and T.J. Warren both put up impressive numbers, but Phoenix still fell 113-112 to the Atlanta Hawks. Payton recorded a triple-double (11 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds). Warren added 35 points and four rebounds.
WILD NIGHT FOR SMITH
Dallas Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. has enjoyed a phenomenal season, but he was wildly inaccurate in Sunday’s 126-109 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Smith scored 23 points with eight assists, but he shot just nine of 22 from the floor. Dallas are concentrated on the future, and Smith will have to add some consistency on the court to become a team leader.
BEAL WITH THE SPIN AND TWIRL
Bradley Beal scored 22 points with 11 assists, but the Washington Wizards lost 98-95 to the Indiana Pacers after Victor Oladipo scored a game-high 33 points.
— NBA (@NBA) March 5, 2018
Atlanta Hawks 113-112 Phoenix Suns
Toronto Raptors 103-98 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 118-110 Philadelphia 76ers
Sacramento Kings 102-99 New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers 98-95 Washington Wizards
New Orleans Pelicans 126-109 Dallas Mavericks
Los Angeles Clippers 123-120 Brooklyn Nets
PISTONS AT CAVALIERS
Detroit, after starting out strong following the Blake Griffin trade, has been reeling in recent weeks, losing eight out of their last 10 games. Cleveland have lost three of their last four games. While the Cavaliers are still in position to make the playoffs, this is the type of game they need to win to maintain confidence moving forward.