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Embiid, 76ers power past Bucks 116-94 and into 6th in East

PHILADELPHIA (AP) It's only January, yet Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown wants his team keeping an eye on the standings.

''He mentioned that we could jump to sixth (in the Eastern Conference) if we won,'' guard Ben Simmons said. ''Obviously, it was a big game, and we did a really good job of closing it out.''

Joel Embiid had 29 points and nine rebounds and the 76ers pulled away from the undermanned Milwaukee Bucks 116-94 on Saturday night for their seventh win in eight games.

Simmons added 16 points and nine assists, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 16 points in a rare start as the Sixers (22-20) moved past Milwaukee (23-22).

For a franchise that had won 75 games the previous four seasons combined, Philadelphia is eagerly eyeing its first postseason berth since 2012.

''We've been able to find our identity,'' Embiid said.

Khris Middleton had his first career-triple double - 23 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists - for the Bucks in their second straight loss. They were without top scorer Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was sitting out the first of two games to rest a sore right knee.

Fellow starter Malcolm Brogdon also wasn't available due to a family matter. Tony Snell (15 points) and Sterling Brown (14 points) moved into the lineup, and the Bucks rallied from 16 points down to tie it before being outscored 32-14 in the fourth quarter.

''We were short-handed and they played hard,'' Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. ''But turnovers cost us there to start that fourth quarter.''

Antetokounmpo practiced Friday, but the Bucks announced Saturday morning the two-time All-Star would be out until Friday against Brooklyn to ''manage'' his ailment. Knee pain also kept Antetokounmpo sidelined on Nov. 22 and Dec. 23.

''Hopefully, after missing these two games, he doesn't have to miss any more,'' Kidd said.

Philadelphia was without its top two shooting guards. JJ Redick (cracked bone below his knee) is out at least a week and Jerryd Bayless (sore left wrist) didn't dress.

Luwawu-Cabarrot, a French guard in his second NBA season, stepped into the starting lineup and made 3 of 5 3-pointers. His 3-pointer capped a 13-0 run early in the fourth as Philadelphia built a 97-82 lead.

''It was a big opportunity for me to show up and step up,'' Luwawu-Cabarrot said.

The Sixers showed good depth early. Nine players scored in the first quarter, and they built a 53-37 lead before halftime.

After committing just three first-half turnovers, the Sixers threw it away 11 times in the third, and Middleton and Eric Bledsoe (14 points on 5-of-18 shooting) helped the Bucks rally to tie it.

Embiid responded with a dunk and a block on Bledsoe and a three-point play to end the third and give the Sixers an 84-80 lead.

Middleton was 9 of 20 from the field. It was his first double-figure rebounding game of the season.

TIP-INS

Bucks: Brogdon is expected back Monday. ... Marshall Plumlee, signed to a two-way contact five days earlier, had six points and six rebounds in his team debut. ''He was great,'' Kidd said. ... Milwaukee plays the Sixers three more times, including at Philadelphia on April 11 to end the regular season.

76ers: Rookie G Markelle Fultz participated in shootaround as he tries to regain his shooting form following a right shoulder injury. The No. 1 overall pick has missed 38 straight games. ... Simmons didn't attempt a 3-pointer for the 12th time in 13 games. He's 0 for 10 from long range. ... With the game in hand, fans turned their attention to Sunday's NFC championship game with several ''Eagles'' chants. The Sixers are flying to Memphis earlier than usual Sunday so they can watch the game on TV.

THANKS, DOC

Embiid played on after aggravating a right hand injury from last month. Brown gave a nod to the team's often-criticized medical staff for Embiid being voted an All-Star despite his numerous injuries.

''They deserve a hell of a lot of credit,'' Brown said.

Embiid still isn't cleared to play back-to-back games following knee surgery last March. Brown said his fitness level is 85-90 percent.

''His muscle tone and his stomach, he physically looks good,'' Brown said. ''But we see a little bit of a decline in fourth periods.''

UP NEXT

Bucks: Home vs. Phoenix on Monday night.

76ers: At Memphis on Monday night.

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Key Players
K. Middleton
22 SF
J. Embiid
21 C
31.4 Min. Per Game 31.4
23.9 Pts. Per Game 23.9
3.5 Ast. Per Game 3.5
11.0 Reb. Per Game 11.0
45.7 Field Goal % 49.0
45.5 Three Point % 48.6
87.5 Free Throw % 80.1
  Defensive rebound by Amir Johnson 0:00
  missed jump shot 0:00
  Offensive rebound by 0:06
  Sean Kilpatrick missed jump shot 0:06
  Offensive rebound by Amir Johnson 0:12
+ 2 Amir Johnson made dunk 0:12
  T.J. McConnell missed jump shot 0:16
  Out of bounds turnover on Rashad Vaughn 0:33
  Defensive rebound by Marshall Plumlee 0:56
  Trevor Booker missed jump shot 0:59
  Defensive rebound by Ben Simmons 1:19
Team Stats
Points 94 116
Field Goals 33-82 (40.2%) 45-85 (52.9%)
3-Pointers 10-32 (31.3%) 10-25 (40.0%)
Free Throws 18-22 (81.8%) 16-19 (84.2%)
Total Rebounds 44 52
Offensive 8 11
Defensive 27 34
Team 9 7
Assists 20 32
Steals 10 9
Blocks 3 4
Turnovers 17 16
Fouls 20 18
Technicals 0 1
23 PTS, 14 REB, 10 AST
16 PTS, 8 REB, 9 AST
1234T
away team logo Bucks 23-22 2926251494
home team logo 76ers 22-20 37242332116
Team Stats
away team logo Bucks 23-22 101.9 PPG 38.6 RPG 22.0 APG
home team logo 76ers 22-20 108.8 PPG 49.5 RPG 25.8 APG
Key Players
K. Middleton SF 20.1 PPG 5.2 RPG 4.0 APG 46.6 FG%
J. Embiid C 22.9 PPG 11.0 RPG 3.2 APG 48.3 FG%
Top Scorers
K. Middleton SF 23 PTS 14 REB 10 AST
J. Embiid C 29 PTS 9 REB 1 AST
40.2 FG% 52.9
31.3 3PT FG% 40.0
81.8 FT% 84.2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Middleton 40 23 14 10 1 0 3 3 9/20 1/5 4/4 2 12 55 -11
T. Snell 38 15 4 1 2 0 1 1 6/12 3/7 0/0 1 3 22 -13
E. Bledsoe 38 14 0 3 5 1 3 2 5/18 1/6 3/5 0 0 23 -14
S. Brown 39 14 2 0 1 0 2 1 5/9 4/7 0/1 2 0 15 -6
J. Henson 22 11 4 1 0 1 1 3 4/6 0/0 3/4 1 3 17 -15
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Middleton 40 23 14 10 1 0 3 3 9/20 1/5 4/4 2 12 55 -11
T. Snell 38 15 4 1 2 0 1 1 6/12 3/7 0/0 1 3 22 -13
E. Bledsoe 38 14 0 3 5 1 3 2 5/18 1/6 3/5 0 0 23 -14
S. Brown 39 14 2 0 1 0 2 1 5/9 4/7 0/1 2 0 15 -6
J. Henson 22 11 4 1 0 1 1 3 4/6 0/0 3/4 1 3 17 -15
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Maker 15 6 0 1 0 1 1 1 2/6 0/1 2/2 0 0 8 -2
M. Plumlee 9 6 6 0 0 0 2 2 1/1 0/0 4/4 1 5 10 -5
M. Dellavedova 16 5 4 3 1 0 2 5 1/4 1/3 2/2 0 4 14 -15
J. Terry 7 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 0 1 -9
R. Vaughn 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 -1 -4
S. Kilpatrick 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 -8
D. Wilson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 -4
M. Brogdon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Teletovic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Antetokounmpo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Parker - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
X. Munford - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 231 94 35 20 10 3 17 20 33/82 10/32 18/22 8 27 164 -106
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Embiid 32 29 9 1 1 2 5 2 11/19 2/5 5/6 0 9 38 +16
B. Simmons 30 16 8 9 1 0 4 4 8/13 0/0 0/0 1 7 39 +12
T. Luwawu-Cabarrot 29 16 3 2 0 0 0 3 5/9 3/5 3/3 0 3 23 +21
R. Covington 29 13 5 3 4 1 1 1 5/8 3/6 0/0 1 4 28 +28
D. Saric 32 13 6 7 1 0 3 1 4/10 1/5 4/4 1 5 31 +3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Embiid 32 29 9 1 1 2 5 2 11/19 2/5 5/6 0 9 38 +16
B. Simmons 30 16 8 9 1 0 4 4 8/13 0/0 0/0 1 7 39 +12
T. Luwawu-Cabarrot 29 16 3 2 0 0 0 3 5/9 3/5 3/3 0 3 23 +21
R. Covington 29 13 5 3 4 1 1 1 5/8 3/6 0/0 1 4 28 +28
D. Saric 32 13 6 7 1 0 3 1 4/10 1/5 4/4 1 5 31 +3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. McConnell 32 11 3 7 2 0 2 4 5/10 0/0 1/1 1 2 28 +12
T. Booker 15 6 1 1 0 0 0 2 3/4 0/0 0/1 0 1 9 +19
A. Johnson 15 6 7 2 0 1 1 1 2/3 0/0 2/2 4 3 17 +6
J. Young 8 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/3 1/2 1/2 0 0 4 +7
J. Anderson 14 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 1/6 0/2 0/0 3 0 5 -14
J. Redick - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bayless - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Holmes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Korkmaz - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Fultz - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 116 45 32 9 4 16 18 45/85 10/25 16/19 11 34 222 +110