PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Milwaukee sank all the free throws, grabbed all the rebounds and made the smart plays in the final minutes that Philadelphia simply couldn’t convert.
That’s why everyone was talking about the Bucks’ impressive comeback at the end, instead of the one the slumping 76ers made earlier.
Andrew Bogut’s go-ahead putback with 10.7 seconds left capped a frantic fourth-quarter rally and led the Bucks over the 76ers 88-85 on Wednesday night.
“We just grinded it out, made a few plays here and there and came out with the win,” Milwaukee’s Mo Williams said.
Michael Redd scored 24 points, and Williams sank two clutch free throws in the final minute and scored 16 for the Bucks, who blew an 18-point first-half lead before completing an impressive comeback of their own.
With Milwaukee down seven points with just over 2 minutes left, Redd got the Bucks rolling with two free throws and a layup that pulled them within three.
Then John Salmons foolishly fouled Williams on a 3-point attempt with 23 seconds left, and the reserve guard calmly made the first two and missed the last one to make it 85-84.
Samuel Dalembert blew his chance to give Philadelphia a needed cushion when he missed both free throws with 19 seconds left. T.J. Ford went the length of the court and missed his layup, but Bogut was there for the follow and an 86-85 lead.
Allen Iverson missed a wide open jumper and Redd hit a couple of free throws to seal the Bucks’ third win of the season over the Sixers.
“It showed we know how to win down the stretch,” Ford said. “Every time we got a good look, guys just made plays.”
Iverson scored 23 points and Dalembert had 13 points and 12 rebounds, but the Sixers lost their fourth straight game.
“It’s almost like we are freezing up when it starts to get to winning time,” Iverson said. “Once you do that, you can’t win basketball games. If we don’t learn how to pull them out, then we can expect a lot of games like this.”
The Sixers wiped out a 15-point halftime deficit in the third with one of their most energetic and efficient quarters of the season.
They opened the quarter with a 15-4 run that was keyed by Dalembert finally breaking free down low for some emphatic dunks.
Jamaal Magloire was whistled for a technical foul after he complained the referees missed a couple of fouls on his way to the basket. The Sixers seized on the call, with the slumping Chris Webber making the free throw and sinking an 18-footer from the right on the possession to tie the game at 62-all.
Dalembert was fouled on a nice basket from the block and made the free throw to make it 65-62 for Philadelphia’s first lead since early in the game. Dalembert ended the quarter with another dunk, making him 4-for-4 in the quarter as the Sixers shot 60 percent and took a 71-65 lead.
“It’s a shame that we lose a game like that after having to make a comeback like that,” Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said.
Webber had one of his worst games of the season. He went 4-for-15 for 11 points and six rebounds.
Randolph, who hadn’t scored than two points in a game in limited playing time, scored 10 points and had seven rebounds in 14 minutes.
The Bucks had only five baskets in the third after making 16 of 25 shots in the second, when they seemed poised to turn this one into a blowout. Redd hit two 3s and Charlie Bell added one during an 18-4 run, and a running jumper from Williams gave the Bucks their largest lead of the game, 48-30.
Former MVP Moses Malone has tutored the Sixers big men on rebounding. “He was impressive,” Dalembert said. It didn’t help. The Bucks outrebounded the Sixers 44-40. … The Bucks outscored the Sixers on the break 25-8. … Ford scored 12 points.