We had a possible NBA Finals preview on Sunday as the Philadelphia 76ers took on the Phoenix Suns out in the desert. The 76ers have progressed into a tie with the Miami Heat atop the Eastern Conference standings, while the Suns are running away with the Western Conference. Joel Embiid installed 37 points, 15 rebounds, and a set of blocks and was particularly dominant in the first half, but Phoenix pulled away for the 114-104 win. The frightening news for 76ers fans was Embiid rolling his ankle while completing a layup near the third quarter. With the Milwaukee Bucks coming to town on Tuesday, the 76ers require their MVP candidate. Let’s take an NBA betting appearance at Tuesday’s tilt between East competitors.
When: Tuesday, March-29, 2022, at 7:00 pm ET.
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia Television: No National Broadcast.
Radio: WTMJ 620 AM Milwaukee/ WPEN 97.5 FM Philadelphia.
Live Stream: TrueView TV.
The Bucks had won 4 out of five heading into their date with the Grizzlies in Memphis. However, they ran into a buzzsaw, falling 127-102. Milwaukee looked tired the whole way through, providing up 32 points in the first quarter and then putting up simply 18 in the 2nd to go into the locker room down 13 at the half.
In the 3rd quarter, the Bucks decided to see if they might make it a video game, getting 18 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo (part of his 30-point night); however, the Bucks’ defense could not stop the Grizzles as they hung 39 on the Bucks. Antetokounmpo also had 11 boards and four blocks for the game, and Khris Middleton broke in 16 points. Antetokounmpo was simply 3 of 11 from the floor in the first half, which is why the Bucks could not keep up in the first half. Jrue Holiday (ankle discomfort) missed the game after managing 23 points per game over his last five contests, and he must return to Philadelphia.
The 76ers had won three-in-a-row before that loss to the Suns, consisting of wins over the Lakers and Clippers in Los Angeles to start their trip. While Embiid had a big night, James Harden had a hard time, going simply two of 11 from the flooring and ending with 14 points with nine helps and seven rebounds. Tyrese Maxey nailed a couple of three-pointers in a 10-0 go to close the space to one point midway through the 4th quarter, but the Suns outscored them, 13-4, to finish the game.
This is the very first meeting between Philadelphia and Milwaukee, given that the 76ers went to Milwaukee and beat the Bucks, 123-120, on February 17. That game was when the 76ers set up 45 points in a dominant second quarter and held on for the tight win. With Brook Lopez back, the Bucks might have more of an answer for Embiid– mainly if he is slowed with that ankle injury.
Embiid is dipping into MVP level now, and with him dominating within, the 76ers will have a leg up, even with Lopez back for the Bucks. I also expect James Harden to get better from an off night in Phoenix. I anticipate the last rating of Philadephia 120, Milwaukee 117.
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