MIL
PHI

No Text

76ers win 16th straight, earn 3 seed in romp over Bucks

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Joel Embiid grabbed a loose ball and hustled toward midcourt, feigning like he would dunk.

Embiid's gold sneakers and peach-colored jacket - and a red, white and blue basketball - were a giveaway that he was again in street clothes. With or without Embiid, the 76ers are streaking into the postseason as the hottest team in the NBA.

Embiid and JJ Redick watched from the bench, Ben Simmons had a scoreless first half and the Philadelphia 76ers still won their 16th consecutive game, thumping the Milwaukee Bucks 130-95 Wednesday night to clinch the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The 52-win Sixers will open the Eastern Conference playoffs against the sixth-seeded Miami Heat. No. 7 Milwaukee will meet No. 2 Boston.

Markelle Fultz, the No. 1 pick of the 2017 draft who missed 68 games with a shoulder injury, became the youngest player in NBA history (19 years, 317 days) with a triple-double with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.

''It was just a matter of going out there and enjoying myself and playing confident,'' Fultz said.

His teammates doused Fultz with strawberry milk, chocolate milk and water in celebration of the record feat.

''It's all love and appreciation,'' he said.

Fultz should have hit up Embiid and borrowed something to protect his face.

Embiid wore a black mask during warmups to protect his broken bone around his left eye, then changed into his garish outfit to watch the Sixers romp to a stunning 80-44 lead at the break.

Embiid said he will likely miss at least Game 1 of the playoffs this weekend because of the injury.

The 76ers have done just fine without him.

Redick was a late scratch with lower back tightness and Simmons, who finished with four points, missed both shots in the first half. No problem. The Sixers hit 11 3s in the first half and could have celebrated the No. 3 seed at halftime.

The Sixers had to win to earn the three spot and they dominated a Bucks team that was fighting for seeding in the playoffs. At one point, the Sixers led 72-37 - at the same time the Flyers were down 7-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL playoffs.

Embiid, who entertained the crowd during timeouts, hasn't played since March 28 when he suffered a broken bone around his left eye in a collision with Fultz. The Sixers clearly need their big man if they're going to make a run in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Embiid leads the team with 22.9 points and 11 rebounds in 63 games, helping Philly clinch its first playoff berth since 2012.

''I want to play but right now I feel like I'm not ready yet,'' Embiid said. ''It's getting there. I've got to keep working every day. With the way it's been progressing, I'm hopeful I'll be back soon.''

He said the eye was still swollen, though he doesn't suffer from blurred vision.

Even those with 20/20 vision needed a second look at the scoreboard to make sure the numbers were real.

The Sixers in the first half

- shot 59 percent from the floor (31 of 53).

- shot 46 percent on 3s (11 of 24).

- had 22 assists, eight steals, three blocks.

- led by 41, 70-29.

With the Sixers up 39, fans started chanting ''Trust the Process! Trust the Process!''

The much-maligned - now sure to duplicated - ''process'' method that saw the Sixers strip the roster of talent to guarantee losing and stockpile draft picks has been a winner. Embiid, Simmons and Fultz all played crucial roles in leading the Sixers (52-30) to their best record since the 2001 Eastern Conference champs went 56-26.

''It's not something that I deem to be, here we are, we've arrived, significant-type status,'' coach Brett Brown said. ''It's not that. I want them to enjoy it. Take a deep breath. Then reload.''

TIP-INS

Bucks: Jabari Parker scored 25 and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

''Right from the start, there were problems,'' Bucks coach Joe Punty said. ''I can rant and rave right now but I don't think that's the important thing. It was clear we didn't play very well.''

76ers: The NBA rule says players must wear a clear mask but Embiid and the Sixers could petition the league for a change. ... Embiid said he deserved to win NBA defensive player of the year, Simmons should be rookie of the year and Brown for coach of the year. ... Justin Anderson led the Sixers with 25 points and Dario Saric had 24.

UP NEXT

The Sixers and Bucks both have two days off before the NBA playoffs open.

---

For more AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
G. Antetokounmpo
34 PF
B. Simmons
25 PG
33.9 Min. Per Game 33.9
15.9 Pts. Per Game 15.9
8.2 Ast. Per Game 8.2
8.2 Reb. Per Game 8.2
52.9 Field Goal % 54.5
53.1 Three Point % 54.7
76.0 Free Throw % 56.0
+ 1 Thon Maker made free throw 0:18
  Shooting foul on Furkan Korkmaz 0:18
+ 2 Thon Maker made layup, assist by Tony Snell 0:18
  Defensive rebound by Tony Snell 0:18
  Markelle Fultz missed jump shot, blocked by Tony Snell 0:25
+ 2 Tyler Zeller made driving layup, assist by Brandon Jennings 0:31
  Personal foul on Furkan Korkmaz 0:46
  Team rebound 0:53
  Justin Anderson missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:54
  Personal foul on Thon Maker 1:12
  Defensive rebound by Markelle Fultz 1:12
Team Stats
Points 95 130
Field Goals 37-90 (41.1%) 52-105 (49.5%)
3-Pointers 7-25 (28.0%) 15-36 (41.7%)
Free Throws 14-16 (87.5%) 11-15 (73.3%)
Total Rebounds 51 61
Offensive 10 17
Defensive 33 40
Team 8 4
Assists 22 35
Steals 6 15
Blocks 5 7
Turnovers 20 12
Fouls 17 17
Technicals 0 0
25 PTS, 5 REB
13 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST
1234T
away team logo Bucks 44-38 1826312095
home team logo 76ers 52-30 46342525130
Team Stats
away team logo Bucks 44-38 101.9 PPG 38.6 RPG 22.0 APG
home team logo 76ers 52-30 108.8 PPG 49.5 RPG 25.8 APG
Key Players
J. Parker PF PPG RPG APG FG%
J. Anderson SG PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
J. Parker PF 25 PTS 5 REB 0 AST
J. Anderson SG 25 PTS 6 REB 1 AST
41.1 FG% 49.5
28.0 3PT FG% 41.7
87.5 FT% 73.3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Antetokounmpo 22 10 10 3 0 0 5 2 5/14 0/1 0/0 1 9 21 -26
T. Snell 25 10 3 1 0 1 0 0 4/7 2/4 0/0 0 3 16 -18
E. Bledsoe 11 6 1 3 1 1 3 3 2/2 0/0 2/2 0 1 12 -4
K. Middleton 16 4 1 2 0 0 1 3 2/8 0/1 0/0 1 0 8 -22
J. Henson 17 0 4 0 3 0 0 2 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 4 7 -7
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Antetokounmpo 22 10 10 3 0 0 5 2 5/14 0/1 0/0 1 9 21 -26
T. Snell 25 10 3 1 0 1 0 0 4/7 2/4 0/0 0 3 16 -18
E. Bledsoe 11 6 1 3 1 1 3 3 2/2 0/0 2/2 0 1 12 -4
K. Middleton 16 4 1 2 0 0 1 3 2/8 0/1 0/0 1 0 8 -22
J. Henson 17 0 4 0 3 0 0 2 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 4 7 -7
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Parker 23 25 5 0 1 0 4 0 9/15 1/2 6/8 2 3 27 -18
M. Brogdon 18 13 2 2 0 0 1 0 5/10 3/5 0/0 0 2 18 -14
T. Zeller 25 8 9 1 0 1 0 2 3/3 0/0 2/2 3 6 20 -15
B. Jennings 18 7 2 5 0 0 3 1 3/12 0/4 1/1 1 1 16 -4
S. Brown 32 5 4 1 0 2 1 2 2/10 1/5 0/0 1 3 12 -15
T. Maker 12 3 1 0 0 0 1 2 1/3 0/1 1/1 0 1 3 -14
J. Terry 5 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 0 5 -8
M. Dellavedova 10 2 1 3 0 0 1 0 0/3 0/1 2/2 1 0 8 -10
S. Muhammad - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
X. Munford - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Plumlee - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Wilson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 95 43 22 6 5 20 17 37/90 7/25 14/16 10 33 173 -175
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Saric 28 24 5 1 0 0 1 0 10/19 3/7 1/3 2 3 30 +27
M. Belinelli 19 13 3 5 2 0 1 1 4/11 3/9 2/2 0 3 27 +24
A. Johnson 14 8 8 1 1 0 0 2 4/5 0/0 0/0 3 5 19 +15
R. Covington 16 5 3 2 3 1 1 3 2/5 1/4 0/0 0 3 15 +17
B. Simmons 22 4 6 7 0 2 4 2 1/6 0/0 2/2 2 4 22 +15
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Saric 28 24 5 1 0 0 1 0 10/19 3/7 1/3 2 3 30 +27
M. Belinelli 19 13 3 5 2 0 1 1 4/11 3/9 2/2 0 3 27 +24
A. Johnson 14 8 8 1 1 0 0 2 4/5 0/0 0/0 3 5 19 +15
R. Covington 16 5 3 2 3 1 1 3 2/5 1/4 0/0 0 3 15 +17
B. Simmons 22 4 6 7 0 2 4 2 1/6 0/0 2/2 2 4 22 +15
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Anderson 31 25 6 1 1 1 2 1 9/17 5/12 2/2 3 3 33 +16
R. Holmes 26 19 7 0 1 2 0 2 8/11 0/0 3/4 4 3 29 +15
T. McConnell 28 16 6 7 4 0 0 1 7/11 2/2 0/0 1 5 40 +15
M. Fultz 25 13 10 10 2 1 2 0 6/13 0/0 1/2 2 8 44 +18
E. Ilyasova 18 3 3 0 1 0 1 2 1/5 1/1 0/0 0 3 6 +12
F. Korkmaz 7 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 0 2 +1
J. Redick - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bayless - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Embiid - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Luwawu-Cabarrot - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 130 57 35 15 7 12 17 52/105 15/36 11/15 17 40 267 +175