PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Spencer Hawes had 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, Jrue Holiday and Damien Wilkins each scored 18 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 100-92 on Wednesday night.
Thaddeus Young and Dorell Wright both scored 14 points for a Sixers team that put six players in double figures. The Sixers returned from a 1-3 road trip to win their third straight game at home. On Fan Appreciation Night, the Sixers gave them something to feel good about.
Brandon Jennings was scoreless for Milwaukee and benched in the fourth quarter. Monta Ellis scored 29 points for the Bucks. Ersan Ilyasova had 13 points and 18 rebounds.
The Sixers wasted an 18-point lead and needed to find their touch from 3-point range to get back into this one. Wright gave them a one-point with a 3-pointer and Holiday followed with another to make it 93-87. Evan Turner, who scored 13, made Philadelphia’s eighth 3-pointer and the lead was up to nine.
From there the Sixers massaged the lead until they hit 98 points with a minute left. With the crowd of 16,640 bellowing “We want Big Macs!” if the Sixers hit 100 points, Wilkins obliged with a thunderous dunk that sent fans into a frenzy.
Fast food is about the only way to satisfy a Sixers fan this year after a season full of promise collapsed under Andrew Bynum’s balky knees.
The Bucks are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and entered only 1½ games behind Boston for seventh and the chance to avoid a first-round series against Miami.
Ellis took control in the third to help the Bucks grab the lead after a tough first half. He twice hit tying shots in the quarter as Milwaukee was 13 of 25 from the field. Mike Dunleavy hit a 3 to help them take a 78-76 lead into the fourth.
They couldn’t keep it going. Jennings was scoreless off three missed shots in 17 minutes for the Bucks in the half. He was benched early in the third quarter and did not return. There was no injury report on Jennings, whose rookie contract expires at the end of the season, making him a restricted free agent.
He was scoreless for the first time in his 281st career NBA game.
Well out of the playoff race, but over .500 at home, the Sixers raced to an 18-point lead in the first half. Wright buried a 3 to start a 14-2 run that gave them a cushy lead. One of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the league, the Sixers were a measly 8 of 9.
Notes: 76ers coach Doug Collins said his son, Chris, had a good interview with Northwestern about its vacancy. Chris Collins is an associate head coach at Duke.
“It fits the profile of what he’s looking for in a school,” Collins said. “The kind of athletes Chris has been recruiting at Duke is the kind of athletes he’ll be recruiting there if he gets the job.” … The 76ers wished La Salle good luck in its NCAA tournament round of 16 game Thursday night against Wichita State.
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