Milwaukee at Philadelphia

Bucks hold serve for playoff position by edging 76ers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- The Bucks have quickly adjusted to life without Andrew Bogut. Their shot at the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference could ease the sting of playing without him.

Carlos Delfino scored 23 points and Luke Ridnour had 18 to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 95-90 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGB
1x-Atlanta-
2x-Boston-
3x-Brooklyn-
4x-Chicago-
5o-Charlotte-
6o-Cleveland-
7o-Detroit-
8y-Indiana-
Still alive
9z-Miami-
10x-Milwaukee-
11y-New York-
Eliminated
12o-Orlando-
13o-Philadelphia-
14o-Toronto-
15o-Washington-
Complete Playoff Race

The Bucks are jostling for playoff position and moved ahead of Miami for fifth in the East. They've won four straight games and have remained in the hunt for the No. 5 seed since losing Bogut to various injuries on a hard fall last week.

"I think that for what we've been through in losing Andrew, it's important that we've been able to win two or three in a row," Ridnour said. "He is a huge part of our team and everyone else on the team has to do a little bit more for us to be successful."

The Bucks led wire-to-wire against the woeful Sixers and have held three straight teams to 90 or fewer points. Brandon Jennings had 16 points and seven assists.

Andre Iguodala led the Sixers with 21 points. Philadelphia missed 11-of-20 attempts from the free throw line.

John Salmons, who has been a surprise star for the Bucks since his trade from Chicago, played only 24 minutes because of the flu.

"He just didn't look good in the face in the timeouts so I decided that was enough," coach Scott Skiles said.

He scoring touch would have been handy in the fourth quarter when the hapless Sixers started to make a run and nearly played spoiler in the playoff race.

The Sixers sliced the lead to under five several times, but couldn't sustain the big buckets long enough to ever take the lead.

Jrue Holiday, who was 0 for 8 in the first half, nailed a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left that cut it to 89-87.

Jennings did what the Sixers failed to do -- make free throws. He calmly sank two in a tight game late in the fourth, much like the rookie might be asked to do in a decisive playoff game.

Iguodala, suddenly playing some of his best basketball of the season long after any of the games matter, hit his third 3 and there was still a glimmer of hope for lottery-bound Philadelphia.

It didn't last long. The Bucks clinched the win from the foul line and then it was off to the locker room to wait for word on the Detroit at Miami game. The Pistons pulled through with a 106-99 win.

Unlike the Sixers, Milwaukee thrived from the line, going 21 for 23.

"It got a little scary there at the end," Ridnour said.

Delfino made all four of his 3s in the first half and the Bucks finished with 10 overall -- the sixth time in the last 15 games a team has hit at least 10 3s against the Sixers. Luc Mbah a Moute scored 13 points and had nine rebounds.

Skiles stumped for Jennings' candidacy for rookie of the year before the game. His criteria was simple: Jennings was having the best season of any rookie leading his team to the playoffs. This wasn't one of his stronger games -- only 4 for 17 -- but all those free throws down the stretch helped the Bucks hang on.

The Bucks rolled to a 13-point lead in the first half because the Sixers simply couldn't hit shots. Holiday missed all eight attempts, Willie Green was 0 for 3 and Elton Brand 1 for 5.

"I think we were a little lackadaisical coming out of the game and they jumped on us," Iguodala said. "You can see the guys want to be out there and compete and I think it's a good thing that we are still fighting."

Notes
  • Milwaukee's Royal Ivey and Primoz Brezec started the season with the 76ers. They were part of a trade that sent Francisco Elson to Philadelphia. Elson made his season debut with the Sixers and scored two points. The Sixers also acquired Jodie Meeks in that Feb. 16 deal, and he scored 11 points in 22 minutes.
  • The Sixers failed to hold a lead in a game for the third time this season.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Carlos Delfino leads the Bucks with 23 points as they continue to fight for fifth in the East. (Getty Images)
Carlos Delfino leads the Bucks with 23 points as they continue to fight for fifth in the East. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Milwaukee (45-34) «2424173095
Philadelphia (26-53) 1521243090
MIL:C. Delfino 23 Pts
MIL:L. Mbah a Moute 9 Reb
MIL:B. Jennings 7 Ast
PHI:A. Iguodala 21 Pts
PHI:S. Dalembert 15 Reb
PHI:J. Holiday 8 Ast
Players of the Game
PhiladelphiaMilwaukee

A. Iguodala

C. Delfino
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
21422335
Milwaukee
C. Delfino, SG398-142-235123
K. Thomas, PF371-40-08432
B. Jennings, PG354-177-727116
L. Mbah a Moute, SF295-93-391113
J. Salmons, SF242-72-22117
L. Ridnour, PG278-121-132318
E. Ilyasova, SF221-52-49235
J. Stackhouse, SF141-52-21025
D. Gadzuric, C71-20-01032
P. Brezec, C41-10-01102
C. Bell, SG30-12-20012
D. Jackson, PFDid Not Play
A. Bogut, CDid Not Play
R. Ivey, PGDid Not Play
M. Redd, SGDid Not Play
Totals 32-7721-2339231995
 41.6%91.3% 
Philadelphia
S. Dalembert, C353-61-215017
A. Iguodala, SG359-130-242321
J. Holiday, PG305-140-248113
J. Kapono, SG252-50-03104
E. Brand, PF231-70-05322
L. Williams, SG266-132-326315
W. Green, SG244-93-310211
J. Meeks, SG223-63-430511
M. Speights, PF152-60-12014
F. Elson, C41-20-31002
R. Carney, SFDid Not Play
T. Young, SFDid Not Play
A. Iverson, SGDid Not Play
J. Smith, PFDid Not Play
Totals 36-819-2040201890
 44.4%45.0% 
Other Games
NY 103 Final
Orl 118
Tor 101 Final
Atl 107
Wash 106 Final
Bos 96
Ind 116 Final
Cle 113
Det 106 Final
Mia 99
Utah 114 Final
NO 103
LAL 97 Final
Min 88
Chi 116 Final
NJ 127
Pho 91 Final
OKC 96
Char 90 Final
Hou 97
Mem 107 Final
SA 99
Dal 83 Final
Port 77